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Med schools on track to hit 30% enrollment growth target

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 13, 2013

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Enrollment in U.S. allopathic medical schools has risen by 3,029 students since 2002, an 18% increase that puts nationwide progress in line to meet a goal of 30% enrollment growth by 2017, according to an Assn. of American Medical Colleges report released May 2.

Nearly 20,000 allopathic medical students enrolled in 2012, up from about 16,500 in the baseline year of 2002. Nearly three-quarters of the enrollment rise took place in schools that existed in 2002, while the remainder came from the 16 schools accredited since 2002, the report said (link).

The AAMC projects that schools will enroll nearly 2,000 more students by 2017 to meet the 30% goal the association set in 2006. Osteopathic medical schools also have increased enrollment. Combined MD and DO enrollment is projected to hit 28,109 students by 2017, an overall rise of 44% since 2002.

Boosting the number of medical school graduates is only the first step in meeting the country’s future demand for physicians, said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.

“Increasing enrollments show that medical schools are doing their part to avert the shortage of more than 90,000 primary care and specialty doctors this nation faces by 2020,” he said. “However, this will not result in a single new practicing physician unless Congress acts now to lift the cap on residency training positions.”

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