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Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Reach All-Time Highs
Date:10/24/2013

Washington, DC (PRWEB) October 24, 2013

A record number of students applied to and enrolled in the nation’s medical schools in 2013, according to data released today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

The total number of applicants to medical school grew by 6.1 percent to 48,014, surpassing the previous record set in 1996 by 1,049 students. First-time applicants, another important indicator of interest in medicine, increased by 5.5 percent to 35,727. The number of students enrolled in their first year of medical school exceeded 20,000 for the first time (20,055), a nearly 3 percent increase over 2012.

“At a time when the nation faces a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by the end of the decade and millions are gaining access to health insurance, we are very glad that more students than ever want to become physicians. However, unless Congress lifts the 16-year-old cap on federal support for residency training, we will still face a shortfall of physicians across dozens of specialties,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. “Students are doing their part by applying to medical school in record numbers. Medical schools are doing their part by expanding enrollment. Now Congress needs to do its part and act without delay to expand residency training to ensure that everyone who needs a doctor has access to one.”

The overall growth in medical student enrollment can be attributed, in part, to the creation of new medical schools as well as existing schools’ efforts to expand their class sizes after the AAMC, in 2006, called for a 30 percent increase in enrollment to avert future doctor shortages. In 2013, 14 medical schools increased their class sizes by more than 10 percent. Four new medical schools welcomed their first classes this year, contributing to about half of the overall enrollment increase. Since 2002, medical schools have increased the number of first-year students b
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