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Special Communication
September 6, 2000

Educational Programs in US Medical Schools, 1999-2000

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Undergraduate Medical Education (Drs Barzansky and Jonas); and the Division of Graduate Medical Education (Ms Etzel), American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 2000;284(9):1114-1120. doi:10.1001/jama.284.9.1114

We used data from the 1999-2000 Liaison Committee on Medical Education Annual Medical School Questionnaire, which had a 100% response rate, and other sources to describe the status of medical education programs in the United States. In 1999-2000, the number of full-time faculty members was 102,446, a 4.3% increase from 1998-1999. The number of basic science faculty increased by less than 0.5%, while the number of clinical faculty increased by about 5%. There were 38,529 medical school applicants in 1999, a 6% decrease from 1998. Women constituted 45.8% and underrepresented minorities made up 12.1% of the 1999-2000 first-year class. New content, such as alternative medicine and cultural competence, and new methods of instruction, such as computer-based learning, are being incorporated by many schools. Seventy schools (56% of the total) require students to pass both Step 1 and Step 2 of the US Medical Licensing Examination for advancement or graduation, an increase from 62 schools (50%) in 1998-1999. The use of standardized methods of assessment, such as objective structured clinical examinations, to evaluate students' clinical performance was highly variable among schools.