Medical school enrollment is charting upward, with a projected 30% increase in growth set for the 2018 to 2019 school year, according to the results of the 2017 Medical School Enrollment Survey published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The report, based on the 14th annual AAMC survey of medical school enrollment plans, was conducted between November 2017 and March 2018. The current report includes enrollment projections only for the 151 institutions that grant MD degrees. Responses were collected from the deans of 94% of the institutions surveyed.

The AAMC recommended a 30% growth in first-year medical school enrollees in 2006 as a result of a “likely future physician shortage,” according to the survey. Results suggest that this goal will be achieved by the 2018 to 2019 school year, and will be exceeded in the coming years.

However, there are lingering concerns about the availability of graduate medical education opportunities at both the state and national levels: 44% of medical schools reported “concern about their incoming students’ ability to find residency positions of their choice after medical school.” These concerns are high, but have decreased from the peak seen in 2013.

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Nearly all respondents indicated that their institutions either had or will have within the next 2 years programs and policies in place aimed at recruiting a diverse body of students, including those from local underserved communities and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Finally, survey results showed that first-year enrollment at DO-granting institutions is continuing to accelerate, with a 163% increase in enrollments from 2002-2003 to 2017-2018 (3079 vs 8088). These numbers represent an additional challenge in increasing medical school enrollment numbers.

Reference

Orlowski J, Dill M, Fisher K. Results of the 2017 Medical School Enrollment Survey. Association of American Medical Colleges. https://members.aamc.org/iweb/upload/Results_of_the_2017_Medical_School_Enrollment_Survey.pdf. Published May 2018. Accessed May 21, 2018.