Here's a similar article by USA Today. Enjoy....
Fewer students seeking careers in medicine (USA TODAY )
September 9, 2002
By Dan Vergano
Medical school applications have fallen for a fifth straight year -- a sign
that the profession has lost its appeal to some -- but educators remain
confident that the quality and number of would-be doctors will meet the need
for physicians in the USA.
Last year's 34,859 applicants to the nation's 125 accredited medical schools
still represents about two students for every opening. But being a doctor
may no longer look like a solid-gold career choice to quite as many
students. In the current Journal of the American Medical Association,
Barbara Barzansky and Sylvia Etzel of the American Medical Association
describe the continuing drop in applications, down from a high of 46,968 in
"There is a lot of concern about the status of medicine, the lack of
autonomy, regulation and litigation" as reasons that discourage applicants,
Barzansky says. Despite the drop, test scores and grades remain high among
those who enter medical school, she says.
A long-term increase in women and minority students continues at medical
schools, although applications from Asian and Hispanic students fell
noticeably last year, about 13% and 8% respectively. Of last year's
applicants, about 35% belong to a minority racial or ethnic group, a big
jump from 9% in 1971. About 48% of medical school students are women, up
from 14% in 1971.
"The quality of applicant remains high, but I know that lifestyle issues for
doctors and medical students need to be addressed," says Eric Hodgson,
president of the American Medical Students Association.
Long hours, increasing paperwork and insurance costs are driving more
students away from the demanding general surgery and obstetrics specialties
and into less time-demanding specialties such as dermatology, he says.
Tuition costs also remain a concern, with the average debt for medical
students nearing $ 100,000.
In June, the accrediting council for medical schools approved limits of 80
hours a week for resident duty. However, a separate AMA report that
accompanies Barzansky's notes that resident hours have stayed about 56 hours
a week in the past two years.
Despite the decline in med school applications, some experts see a
turnaround on the horizon.
"The decline in applicant numbers may have bottomed out with the 2002
entering class," says Jordan Cohen, head of the American Association of
Medical Colleges. The number of students taking Medical College Admission
Tests is up over last year, he says. Cohen's group will report the applicant
count for 2002 in late October.
Furthermore, economic downturns like the current one have driven up
applications in the past, as law and business careers lose luster, Barzansky
says. The big concern in any application drop, she says, may be the loss of
minority students needed as faculty for the next generation of physicians.
Since most schools give out more acceptances than the actual class size (i.e. b/c of apps turning down acceptances to go to another school), wouldn't it be greater than a 50% chance?
So let's say @ 34K apps & 17K spots, between decent apps receiving multiple acceptances & schools overaccepting, it seems to be a 50% OR GREATER chance of acceptance. (Unless, of course, an app receives no acceptances at all.) I haven't taken statistics yet, so if I'm not thinking straight, please feel free to correct me, any statisticians out there . . . .