The Association of American Medical Colleges has announced that applications to medical school hit an all-time high of 49,480 in the last application cycle (2014). This represents a 3.1% increase in applicants over the prior year.
Diversity has also increased; Hispanic or Latino enrolled medical students jumped 1.8 percent; African American medical students increased by 1.1 percent; and American Indian and Alaskan Native populations in medical school made big gains of nearly 17 percent.
Gender balances in medical school remained approximately what they have been in recent years, at 52% male and 48% female. But women outpaced men in the number of first-time applicants, at an increase of 3.3% for women and only 2.1% for men.
In the last 10 years several new medical schools have opened, which partially accounts for the increase in the number of enrollees. In addition, some medical schools have expanded to try to meet the need for more physicians. Since 2002 medical school enrollment has increased overall by 23.4 percent.
One problem remains, though: while the number of medical school graduates has increased, residency positions have remained static, creating a clog in the system. It has become increasingly difficult and more competitive to land a residency position due to the larger number of medical school graduates. Much has been reported in the media regarding this problem and the AAMC has issued several press releases regarding this issue.
–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consulting