Med School Applicants Up 17 Percent – Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Play a Role?

September 28, 2020


The number of medical school applicants vying for a spot for the 2021 year is up 17 percent from this time last year, which saw an increase of just 1.1 percent, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Osteopathic medical schools are seeing a similar boost. Applications are up 18 percent compared to last year’s 5-percent jump, says the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).

Some believe the historic COVID-19 Pandemic may be driving much of the surge in the same way that events like the 9/11 attack lead to a swell in interest in joining the military.

"This is an unprecedented time," AAMC Senior Director of Student Affairs and Programs Geoffrey Young, PhD recently told Medscape Medical News. But he also suspects that many of the current applicants likely intended to apply all the while and, inspired by the chance to study during a such a significant world event, simply moved up their planned timeline.

Multiple factors lend to a decision to fast-track medical school plans. Lockdown restrictions and virtual classes have afforded prospective students more time to work on their applications earlier in the cycle. Plus, many schools have eased application requirements and waived prerequisites such as internships and research projects, or pushed back application deadlines. Schools have even waived the MCAT exam requirement for this year – arguably a necessary move for some as the pandemic forced closure of scores of testing venues.

Whatever the impetus, it’s clear that the new crop of prospective students is serious about success. Medical school preparation services are seeing inquiries and enrollments soar. Here at WOLFPACC, we train students in an innovative approach to the study and practice of medicine that serves to replace memorization and recall with a deeper understanding of the body’s various systems and how they work together. Tailored one-on-one tutoring and live online courses are designed to help better prepare students for the rigors of medical school and ace their USMLE and COMLEX exams on the first try.

If you’re considering medical school, maximize your opportunities at WOLFPACC. Call 904-209-3140 to speak with an enrollment specialist today.

Photo Credit: Ashkan Forouzani