U.S. Medical School Enrollment Continues to Climb
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Washington, D.C., October 18, 2006 - The number of U. S.
medical students rose for the second year in a row, according to new
data released today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical
Colleges). First-time enrollees in the 2006 entering class totaled
almost 17,400, a 2.2 percent increase over last year.
The number of applications also increased for the fourth consecutive
year. More than 39,000 individuals applied to attend medical school this
fall, a 4.6 percent increase over last year's total of 37,373. The grade
point averages and MCAT scores of this year's applicant pool were the
highest in more than a decade.
"These latest figures clearly indicate that medicine remains a
compelling career option for more and more well-qualified students,"
said AAMC President Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. "With the looming doctor
shortage, these results are good news indeed, and we hope this
encouraging trend continues."
Medical schools in all regions of the U.S. continued to expand
enrollment this year. In 28 of the 125 U.S. medical schools that grant
M.D. degrees, the number of students grew by 5 percent or more. Nine
schools boosted first-year enrollment by 10 percent or more:
- Florida State University College of Medicine - 36 percent
- Brown Medical School - 25 percent
Providence, Rhode Island
- Boston University School of Medicine - 15 percent
- Saint Louis University School of Medicine - 15 percent
St. Louis, Missouri
- Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine - 13 percent
- Wayne State University School of Medicine - 11 percent
- West Virginia University School of Medicine - 11 percent
Morgantown, West Virginia
- Drexel University College of Medicine - 10 percent
- University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine - 10
The AAMC believes a 30 percent increase in total medical school
enrollment can be achieved to prevent a future shortage of physicians by
increasing class sizes in existing schools as well as building new
Analysis of the 2006 applicant data also shows continued gains in
medical student diversity. Applications from Mexican Americans and
Puerto Ricans rose by more than 8 and 6 percent, respectively. In
addition, the number of accepted black applicants increased by almost 9
percent, and the number of black enrollees rose by 8 percent, to more
For the second year in a row, men were a modest majority of medical
school applicants, with 19,812 male applicants compared to 19,297 female
applicants. More men (8,924) than women (8,446) also enrolled in medical
school for the 2006 entering class.