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December 1973

I Want To Be a Doctor

Author Affiliations

319 Longwood Ave Boston 02115

Arch Surg. 1973;107(6):829. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350240001001

Forty thousand persons submitted 336,000 applications for 13,900 places in medical schools in the United States in 1973. The number of applicants has doubled in the last decade, whereas the number of places has increased by only 50%. In the face of our need for health workers (we import 8,000 foreign medical graduates annually), this is a deplorable irony. But think of what it has meant to the premeds themselves, their advisors, and teachers.

The May 1973 issues of both the Swarthmore and Harvard bulletins have aired the matter from the college's side of the baccalaureate divide. Women applicants have quintupled in a four-year period. Other "minority group" applications have done the same. But applications from white males are increasing also. Some colleges report that 85% of biology majors are premeds. There rages such a strong competition for grades as to generate mutual furtiveness occasionally amounting to failure of students

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