Medical school enrollment on pace, AAMC poll says
A survey from the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that by 2016, first-year enrollment in U.S. medical schools will nearly match the 30% increase in enrollment that the association called for in 2006 to address a looming physician shortage. AAMC President and CEO Dr. Darrell Kirch lauded the efforts of medical schools in increasing enrollment but said more work is needed: “This won’t amount to a single new doctor in practice without an expansion of residency positions,” he said in a news release. According to the AAMC’S 2011 Medical School Enrollment Survey, first-year medical school enrollment will record a gain of 29.6% in the 14-year period from the 2002-03 school year to the 2016-17 school year. That increase would bring the enrollment total to 21,376—slightly under the 30% increase the AAMC had hoped to see by 2015. The AAMC estimates a shortage of 90,000 primary-care and specialty physicians by 2020. The organization surveyed deans from 134 U.S. medical schools, with a 95% response rate. Established schools will record most of the first-year enrollment growth, the AAMC predicts, with 58% of the growth coming from the 125 schools accredited as of 2002. New schools accredited after 2002 will account for 25% of the growth, according to the AAMC. The rest, 17%, will come from the schools in the process of accreditation.