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Medical News & Perspectives
December 17, 2008

Medical Student Enrollment Is Up But Still Falls Short of Meeting Need

JAMA. 2008;300(23):2716. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.777

Steady increases in enrollment have pushed the number of first-year students in US allopathic medical schools past 18 000 for the first time, according to new figures from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Although the growth includes a substantial increase in Latino medical students, experts caution that growing enrollment is not the only answer to meeting future patient care needs, in terms of the number and diversity of physicians.

According to the AAMC, 18 036 first-year students enrolled in US medical schools in 2008, up 1.6% from 17 759 in 2007. The number of first-year students has increased every year over the past decade. However, after 5 years of annual increases in the number of medical school applicants, 2008 saw a 0.2% decrease to 42 231 from 42 315 in 2007.