It’s a great time to be a medical student, according to new data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Research shows that the number of students enrolling in the nation’s medical schools has grown 25 percent since 2002, hitting a record 20,630. Also on the rise is the total number of med school applicants. This year’s figure hit 52,550, up 6.2 percent over last year’s numbers, and a double-percentage increase over the growth from the previous year. But the most important boost is in first-time applicants. They grew by 4.8 percent to 38,460. This bit of data is critical because it’s an indicator of overall interest in the study and practice of medicine.
The report proves particularly promising for multiple demographics:
- The number of female first-time applicants rose 6.2 percent to 18,724 – nearly double the 3.5 increase among male first-time applicants, who numbered 19,725.
- The number of African-American applicants increased by 16.8 percent to a total of 4,661 and enrollees rose 11.6 percent to 1,576.
- The number of Hispanic or Latino applicants grew by 10.3 percent to 4,839, while enrollees increased by 6.9 percent to 1,988.
- One unfortunate decrease was in the number of American Indian and Alaskan Native enrollees, which dropped 3.5 percent from 202 in 2014 to 195 in 2015. Still, applicants among this group increased 2.9 percent, rising from 449 last year to 462 this year.
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD credits the development of innovative education and training programs that depart from conventional methods with attracting record numbers of applicants and securing more successful enrollees from all demographics.
“It is very encouraging to see consistent increases in the number and diversity of students in medical school,” Kirch said. “We are hopeful that this becomes a long-term trend as medical schools continue working in their communities to diversify the applicant pool through pipeline programs, outreach efforts, and holistic review initiatives.”
If you’re considering a healthcare career, know that success begins even before you apply for medical school. St. Augustine, FL-based WOLFPACC offers multiple preparatory courses designed to give you the competitive edge in your studies and work. Call 904-209-3140 to speak with an enrollment specialist today.