September 3, 1997

Educational Programs in US Medical Schools, 1996-1997

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Undergraduate Medical Education (Drs Barzansky and Jonas); and the Department of Research and Data Analysis (Ms Etzel), American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 1997;278(9):744-749. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550090068035

We use data from the 1996-1997 Liaison Committee on Medical Education Annual Medical School Questionnaire, which had a 100% response rate, to describe medical education programs in the United States. In the 1996-1997 academic year, there were 95 568 full-time medical school faculty members, a 4.5% increase from 1995-1996. In clinical departments, the largest increases were in emergency medicine (a 29% increase from 1995-1996) and family medicine (a 13% increase). Of all full-time faculty members in clinical departments, 76.9% have an MD or DO as the highest degree, 4.5% have both an MD and PhD, 13.9% have a PhD, and 4.7% have an academic or professional bachelor's or master's degree as their final degree. The total number of applicants for the class entering in 1996 was 46 968 (0.8% increase from 1995), while the number of first-time applicants decreased 1% from 1995. First-year medical students who were members of underrepresented minority groups numbered 2236, a 4% decrease from 1995. In 1996-1997, the total number of medical students was 66712 (0.3% less than in 1995-1996). For students graduating during the 1995-1996 academic year, 13% took longer than 4 years to complete the program. There were 47 medical schools that reported that 1 or more hospitals used for required clinical clerkships had changed ownership, merged, or closed during 1996. Medical schools used an average of 6 (range, 1-36) hospitals for core clinical clerkship. Ninety-five schools required a passing grade on Step 1 of the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) for promotion or graduation; 54 schools required a passing grade on Step 2 of the USMLE.