Medical schools became more diverse in 2018

Several underrepresented groups in medicine, including women, black men, and American Indians or Alaska Natives, made gains in representation in U.S. medical schools in 2018, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.  

"Medical schools have been working hard to increase the diversity of tomorrow's doctors. While there is still much more work to do, we are very encouraged by this year's progress," Darrell Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO, said in a press release.

Three notable gains:

1. Women outnumbered men in medical school applications for the first time in 14 years, accounting for 50.9 percent of applicants in 2018 and marking 5 percent growth over the year prior. This year also marked the second in a row in which women accounted for most new medical school enrollees, at 51.6 percent.

2. Black or African-American applicants increased 4 percent and matriculants increased 4.6 percent. Significant growth was noted among black or African-American men, who saw 4.4 percent growth in applications and 7.3 percent growth in new medical school enrollees. AAMC noted the importance of this growth, as the proportion of black or African-American male medical school graduates has generally declined over the last 30 years.

3. The number of applicants who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native grew 10 percent and new enrollees grew 6.3 percent. American Indians and Alaska Natives have similarly faced challenges to increasing representation in medicine over the last 30 years, according to AAMC.

Here are four more stats on the latest pool of medical school applicants and entering class of 2018:

  • Total applications grew 2.1 percent.
  • The class of 2018 is 1.3 percent larger than that of 2017.
  • Male applicants and matriculants declined by less than 1 percent.
  • The entering class has an average undergraduate GPA of 3.72 and average MCAT score of 511.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

U of Maryland med school names several female execs amid harassment scandal
#HowardMedicineMatters: Hospital fights to affiliate with new DC facility
How Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic + 7 other hospitals are fighting burnout

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