A recently released report prepared by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and published by the American Medical Association shows several growth trends in US medical school enrollment. Not only are more students enrolling in med school, but the student body is increasingly diverse.
AAMC data shows that overall, a record 49,480 students enrolled in US medical schools in 2014 – a 3.1-percent increase over last year. Among them were 20,343 enrollees in allopathic schools – a new all-time high. And, osteopathic schools experienced a 5.2-percent boost in enrollment over 2013 figures.
Data also shows promising progress in the diversity of America’s medical students, including:
- A 1.1 percent increase in the number of African American enrollees, from 1,396 to 1,412
- A 1.8 percent increase in the number of Hispanic or Latino enrollees, from 1,826 to 1,859
- A 17 percent increase in American Indian and Alaska Native enrollees, from 173 to 202
What’s more, the number of first-time applicants grew 2.7 percent to 36,697. First-time female applicant figures rose 3.3 percent, compared to first-time male applicants, who increased by 2.1 percent.
Top factors pushing growth include overall expansion in the nation’s medical school capacity, including 17 new schools established since 2002. Growth in osteopathic med school enrollment in particular is attributed primarily to one new osteopathic medical school and two additional teaching locations enrolling their first classes this fall. They are Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, Virginia; Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Dublin Campus in Dublin, Ohio; and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine–New York in Middletown, New York.
Continuing expansion is critical to the nation’s medical and healthcare industry, as a coming shortage of physicianslooms. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the medical community expects a shortage of over 130,000 family physicians alone by the year 2025. Plus, at least 21 different medical specialties are predicting shortages in their fields as well. These include surgery, oncology and various pediatric specialties.
While opportunity is growing, so is the level of competition. Three-quarters of this year’s applicants have research experience and more than three-quarters reported volunteer community service in a health care setting. To help sharpen your competitive edge, WOLFPACC offers a range of courses including its Pre-Med Head Start program, which gives students a preview of the med school environment; and its USMLE and COMLEX prep courses. Call 904-209-3140 to learn more.