December 21, 2017
If you needed more proof the United States is facing a doctor shortage, look no further than the most recent stats from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)—the number of applicants to medical school declined by 2.6% in 2017, which represents the largest decrease in 15 years. The number of male applicants declined 4.4%, while the number of female applicants declined just 0.7%.
And, for the first time ever, the number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools exceeds the number of men. Females represented 50.7% of the 21,338 matriculants (new enrollees) in 2017, compared with 49.8% in 2016. Female matriculants increased by 3.2% this year, while male matriculants declined by 0.3%. Since 2015, the number of female matriculants has grown by 9.6%, while the number of male matriculants has declined by 2.3%.
“We are very encouraged by the growing number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO. “This year’s matriculating class demonstrates that medicine is an increasingly attractive career for women and that medical schools are creating an inclusive environment.”
Despite the increase in female matriculants, Kirch said there’s “much more work to do to attain broader diversity among” students, faculty, and leadership. From 2015 to 2017, black or African American matriculants increased by 12.6%, and matriculants who were Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin rose by 15.4%.
According to AAMC, nearly 30% of new medical students said they planned to eventually work in an underserved area.
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