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March 14, 1977

The Medical School Admissions Dilemma: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

Author Affiliations

University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore
From the Office of Governmental Liaison, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1093-1094. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380037015

THERE was a time when admitting a candidate to medical school was a relatively simple and straightforward proposition. The number of acceptable applicants roughly corresponded to the number of available places. Admissions of women and minorities were, for the most part, concentrated in the three schools that "specialized" in educating these students (Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Howard University College of Medicine, and Meharry Medical College School of Medicine). However, in the past two decades medical education has experienced changes of almost cataclysmic proportions—in curricular content, facilities, faculties, and the numbers and kinds of students enrolled. At the same time, the cost of educating physicians has skyrocketed, which in turn has required increased federal support, and that has inevitably been accompanied by increased regulatory restraints and an unprecedented measure of control.

Since 1956, the number of places available in the first year of medical school has doubled while the number