Record Number Of Students Apply To Medical Schools

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Medical Schools

The number of medical school applications from black and Hispanic malesincreased by 9.2% in 2007, and the number of black men accepted andenrolled in medical school this fall increased by 5.3%, according to astudy released on Tuesday by the Association of American Medical Colleges, CQ HealthBeatreports. Minorities account for 6% of practicing physicians in theU.S., even though blacks, Hispanics and American Indians comprise 28.8%of the U.S. population (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 10/16).

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Overall, medical schools in 2007 admitted a record number of first-year students Bloombergreports. According to the study, 126 medical schools in 2007 admitted17,759 students, a 2.3% increase over 2006, and 42,315 students appliedto the medical schools, an 8.2% increase over 2006 (Sullivan/Keenan, Bloomberg, 10/17).

AAMCPresident Darrell G. Kirch said the group was "pleased to see interestin medicine as a career continue to increase," and it is "especiallyencouraged by the growing interest among students from groupshistorically under-represented in medicine."

However, Edward Salsberg, head of AAMC's Center for Workforce Studiessaid it is "unclear" whether AAMC will meet its goal of increasingyearly enrollment in medical schools by 30% between 2002 and 2015 toprevent a predicted physician shortage.

Nicole Buckley, the group's spokesperson, in an e-mail to CQ HealthBeat,said while there was no clear explanation for the rises and falls inannual enrollments, the "fluctuations are cyclical in nature" and couldbe based on several factors, such as "ups and downs in the nationaleconomy and factors related to employment in general, changes in thehealth care system that redefine how doctors practice medicine, orchanging perspectives on the financial and time investment that isrequired to become a doctor" (CQ HealthBeat, 10/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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