TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Hit All-Time Highs

Association of American Medical Colleges, Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Reach All-time Highs:

Med SchoolA 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 5.8 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 2.8 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. ...

This year’s applicants reported an average undergraduate GPA of 3.54 and a combined median MCAT® score of 29.

(Hat Tip:  Inside Higher Ed.)

Legal Education | Permalink


Notice the stark contrast between the standards of medical school admission versus the pan-handling behavior of law schools and their increased admission of applicants who can't even muster a 150 on the LSAT. I think this is because med schools understand that if an incompetent doctor mucks something up, there can be a result of bodily harm or death. Accordingly, the AMA maintains standards for their schools. Law schools and the feckless ABA couldn't care less about the consequences for their applicants and society as a whole as long as the money keeps coming in.

Posted by: Cent Rieker | Oct 26, 2013 8:25:24 AM

Maybe because medicine is perceived as a career people enter to do good rather than just to make money

Posted by: michael livingston | Oct 27, 2013 3:11:41 AM

A lousy economy for six years helps, too. About 60% of medical students are now female so the applicant pool doubled the past 40 years.

Posted by: MikeK | Oct 27, 2013 7:01:38 AM

Gratifying as it is to see thousands who still want to join the healing professions, it is also nevertheless true that current practitioners are deeply unhappy with what is happening to their profession and many say they would not go to medical school again nor advise anyone else to do so.

And it is also true that physicians still make a comfortable living though their earnings are much less relatively speaking than a generation ago. When the IPAB is up and busy slashing reimbursement rates to try to keep Obamacare afloat, we'll then see whether applications to medical school are affected.

Posted by: SongDog | Oct 27, 2013 8:09:14 AM

Medical admission standards vary depending on your race.

Posted by: Lester | Oct 27, 2013 8:31:04 AM

The US has a lower number of physicians per 1000 population (~2.5) than other industrialized countries. The US needs to increase the number of physicians from 750,000 to 1,000,000. We need more medical schools and more residency programs.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Oct 27, 2013 11:45:52 AM

I love this debate. The ABA basically allows the free market to determine how many seats are available in American law schools. We see the results. The AMA, on the other hand, severely limites entry into the profession by limiting access to medical education. Yet conservatives deride the former and praise the latter.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Oct 28, 2013 6:36:59 AM

Yikes. I applied this year and it is NOT encouraging news at all!

Posted by: Dr. Bear | Nov 19, 2013 8:10:29 PM