More Students Enrolling in U.S. Medical Schools

Enrollees are more diverse than before; African-American, Hispanic, American-Indian students up

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More students are enrolling in medical schools, and enrollees are more diverse than before, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

According to AAMC data, a new high of 20,343 students enrolled in U.S. allopathic medical schools in 2014, and the total number of medical school applicants increased to a high of 49,480. There was also a 5.2 percent increase (from 2013) in medical student enrollment in U.S. osteopathic medical schools, with 6,786 students enrolling.

Following changes to race and ethnicity reporting options in 2013, there was an increase in the diversity of medical students, with a 1.1 percent increase in African-American enrollees, a 1.8 percent increase in Hispanic or Latino enrollees, and a 17 percent increase in American-Indian and Alaska-Native enrollees. Furthermore, three-quarters of this year's applicants have research experience and more than three-quarters reported volunteer community service in a health care setting.

"Our medical schools have been making strong efforts to look at applicants in a manner we call 'holistically,'" said Darrel G. Kirsch, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the AAMC, according to an AMA news release. "What are their personal attributes, and what do they bring to us on the diversity front -- not just racial and ethnic diversity but experiential diversity."

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