United States
Major Increase in U.S. Medical School Enrollment
Oct 26, 2005, 23:50

U.S. medical schools are seeing a significant upsurge in enrollment levels and applicants, according to new data released today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

The 2005-2006 entering class is the largest on record, with more than 17,000 first-time enrollees in the nation's 125 medical schools, a 2.1 percent increase over the 2004 total of 16,648 students.

"With a physician workforce shortage looming, it's encouraging that more young people are attracted to a career in medicine, and that the efforts to increase student enrollment at U.S. medical schools are succeeding," said AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D. "This is a good beginning on the increase in the nation's supply of doctors that the AAMC believes is necessary to ensure that the health care needs of all Americans are met in the next decade."

Twenty-two of the nation's 125 allopathic schools (institutions that grant M.D. degrees) expanded their class size by 5 percent or more during the past year, with seven of these 22 institutions boosting first-year enrollment by more than 10 percent. Those seven schools are:

* Florida State University College of Medicine - 38 percent
Tallahassee, Florida
* Brown Medical School - up 20 percent
Providence, Rhode Island
* Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University - up 15 percent
Huntington, West Virginia
* University of Miami School of Medicine - up 14 percent
Miami, Florida
* Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine - up 13 percent
Rootstown, Ohio
* University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine - up 12 percent
Kansas City, Missouri
* Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University - 11 percent
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The total number of medical school applicants for the 2005-2006 school year also increased to 37,364, a 4.6 percent gain over last year's total of 35,735. Driving this increase were more Hispanic and Asian applicants. Overall, applications from Hispanic students rose by 6.4 percent, with applications from Mexican Americans up almost 8 percent over 2004. The number of Asian applicants increased to 7,286 from 6,737, an 8.1 percent increase over 2004. The number of black applicants was essentially unchanged at 2,809, and black enrollment declined slightly to 1,068 from the 2004 total of 1,086.

A gain in the number of male applicants also contributed to the overall applicant increase. For the first time in two years, men reclaimed the majority, with 50.2 percent of the applicant pool. This year there were 18,744 male applicants and 18,620 female applicants.

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