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med school admissions becoming more or less competitive?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by asdasd12345, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. asdasd12345

    asdasd12345 Membership Revoked
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    i went to the doctor the other day and he says there will be a shortage of physicians soon because not as many people are applying to medical school. this being the case you would think selectivity would go down, is this occuring at all?
     
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  3. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/

    Look at the applicant data for yourself. There is no shortage of applicants, and I think that it has become more competitive in recent years, not less. GPA and MCAT scores have been on a slight upward trend since 1992 for matriculants. Hope this helps.
     
  4. ZekeMD

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    That's just wrong. There are WAY less spots in medical schools than applicants. Med schools always fill their classes, and therefore will keep churning out the same amount of doctors year after year. The only possibility is that demand is increasing while production stays constant. This may cause a shortage in the long run.
     
  5. Kimmer

    Kimmer Member
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    I have wondered about this. I do not know of any brand new medical schools. I do not hear about medical schools getting bigger. Is the patient/doctor ratio in this country driving trends like more PAs, more nurse practitioners, and shorter doctor visits? Are medical schools expanding and I am just in the dark? Share your thoughts people.
     
  6. juddson

    juddson 3K Member
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    There is a new medical school this year, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. It added 32 spots the med school landscape.

    Medical schools spots are very tightly controlled by the AAMC and the LCME (run by doctors) so as to keep the supply of doctors low enough that salaries may be maintained. When universal healthcare gets here (and it WILL get here) expect to see the gates flung open wide.

    Judd
     
  7. MacGyver

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    What you guys are forgetting is that the LCME doenst control DO schools.

    there have been 10 new DO schools opened the last 12 or so years.
     
  8. MacGyver

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    The govt doenst need to "fling the gates" open. When universal care gets here, they will arbitrarily lower all doctors incomes to levels where people wont want to pursue medicine any longer.
     
  9. TheFlash

    TheFlash Playtime Is Over
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    There is no doubt that admissions are becoming more competitive. The average MCAT and GPA for accepted applicants has been on a rising trend for the past decade, and there's no reason for it to decline. The upswing in the economy of the late '90's caused an implosion in the applicant pool, but the average accepted stats still went up. There will always be way more applicants than med school slots. Any small decrease in the number of applicants will not cause 1) A shortage in the overall number of doctors, or 2) A decrease in competitiveness of the pool.
     
  10. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Ive been hearing this statement for at least a decade, and Im sure some of the current doctors have heard this statement for many decades.

    While there will definitely be some adjustments in salary for different specialties, I think the sky has been falling on medicine for the past 50 years.
     
  11. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    there are new schools opening up, along with class size expanding. i can only speak for florida, but fsu is new and is slowly increasing their class size. uf and usf both have gone from 100 student up to around 120 students. and they will likely open at least 1 more, if not 2, med schools in the next decade.

    the one thing that i think is true is that the number of applicants per spot has decreased from a high of almost 3 to 1 in the early 90s down to about 2 to 1. so still way more applicants than spots, but perhaps less competitive than at the peak.

     
  12. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    As for DO school, then generally dont compete for the same pool of applicants as MD schools. Its like bringing more station wagons into the market when people want SUVs or something.

    It'll be interesting to see how DO school stats change as these new schools are added.
     
  13. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Bull****, not to mention irrelevant to the discussion. DO schools produce physicians, and this thread is discussing production/demand. The opening of new DO schools is increasing the production of physicians, whether people such as yourself think they're "station wagons" or not.
     
  14. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    So who accredits/controls all the DO schools? Also, don't a vast majority of DOs go into FP?
     
  15. MacGyver

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    the AOA accredits them.

    No, the vast majority dont go into FP.

    Yes, the vast majority go into primary care (which is not just FP).

    Still though, its not as many as you would think. I saw a chart that showed about 70% of DOs go into primary care.

    DOs definitely affect the physician supply in the United States. I get irritated by "doctor shortage" studies which conveniently ignore the contributions of DOs, as well as PAs and NPs.
     
  16. MacGyver

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    whether they compete with MD applicants is irrelevant. What IS relevant is that DOs compete with MDs for residency slots, patients, fellowships, faculty positions, etc.

    Ignoring DOs in the physician supply pool is ridiculous.
     
  17. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    I believe it's closer to 55% right now.
     
  18. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Well, the quality of applicants might be going up every year......but I have read that the quality of applicants to college as been going up as well. This thrend can be seen by the number of students getting higher standarized scores and taking honors/AP courses. I've heard that since the baby boomer's kids are going to school en mass, there is an influx of applicants to college, which is leading the trend to a more competitive applicant pool overall.

    So I think the upward trend may have less to do with medical school, and more to do with the general trend toward increasing standards at colleges.

    As for shortage of physicians......my personal opinion is that when you have physicians controlling the number of MDs produced, it's only logical you will see an artificial shortage of doctors. And when something as vital as doctors are in short supplies, society will find other ways to compensate. DOs and mid level practioners seem to be filling the job that MDs were suppose to fill but didn't due to the artificial barrier erected by physicians to maintain a shortage of doctors.

    Just curious, does anyone else besides physicians have any say in the number of slots at med school? Seems to me the perfect way to create a shortage is to allow a group to solely regulate it's own numbers..........
     
  19. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    We are in the PRE ALLO forum. I was addressing the competitiveness of ALLOPATHIC schools in response so someone's comment about new DO schools. All i was saying was that the addition of DO schools doesnt affect the competitiveness in matriculation into MD schools. Read before you flame!!! When did i ever address physician over/under supply, this thread is about competition into medical school!! ARGH!! :mad:
     
  20. MacGyver

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    Newsflash... just about EVERY profession is regulated by members of its own community.
     
  21. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Actually, I DON'T believe that other professions are as tightly self-regulated as the medical profession......you don't agree that the medical profession COULD open up more MD spaces but WON'T?

    In any working society, there are undesirable spots to work in. The proliferation of mid level practioners to fill a rural need as well as the increase in DOs says to me that there is still a need for MDs in other places and that there COULD be more spots for applicants and still not compromise quality of care, yet we don't. You constantly talk of mid levels taking over, yet the only solution you offer is that we refuse their expansion of scope of practice.

    How about finding solutions to getting more MDs into 'undesirable' spots to practice? B/c in the US, if there is a shortage of workers anywhere, society WILL find a someone to fill it, and if MDs won't, then someone else will. No amount of harping will change that.

    I was suggesting that the self regulation of MD spots is increasing the problem of physician shortage in undesirable spots, and that it makes no sense to ONLY ask MDs if they should increase the number of MD spots in the country to help alleviate the shortage. To me, that seems to be working out as well as asking MDs to write their own checks to control the raising cost of health care. :rolleyes:
     
  22. MacGyver

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    NonTrad,

    I have said that more MDs should practice in rural areas to fight against expansion of midlevels.

    However, the data is absolutely clear that adding more med schools WILL NOT DO THAT. What we need is more incentive programs to get docs to rural areas.
     
  23. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I guess that's where I disagree. I know we should try to get more MDs (and for that matter, DOs) to practice in rural areas..but sometimes just "asking" is not good enough.

    The problem stems from the fact that to be a doctor requires a certain amount of ambition and "book smarts" which attracts people who typically will not enjoy the slower pace of life in a rural area. You are partially right in that just adding more MD spots probably won't alleviate the rural shortage immediately.......unless it is such a dramatic increase that MDs can't find jobs anywhere but in the rural area. Case in point, the proliferation of law schools have meant that a lot of lawyers can be found even in small towns. But if we did dramatically increase the number of MD spots to the same level as law schools, quality will suffer.

    So I agree that JUST increasing the MD spots will probably not completely alleviate the problem, but I think a middle ground can be reached where we can "add" more spots, without compromising quality of applicants, by adding perhaps "rural medical school". Instead of just "encouraging" people go to into rural medicine", actually specifically create more MD spots for people who MUST go serve those areas. Perhaps make these schools cheaper (so to attract a certain caliber of students) would help.

    The increase in demand for midlevel practioners and expansion of DO schools shows that there COULD be more MDs, but it seems the number of med schools have not increased in proportion to the population in the last couple of decades.........anyway, this is getting off topic....so I relinquish this thread back to the competitiveness of med schools. :thumbup:
     
  24. juddson

    juddson 3K Member
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    Why? It's still tough to be a doc in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain. . . you get the idea. There, salaries are very low compared to here. Yet people still want to be doctors.

    judd
     
  25. Kimmer

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    I am from Montana and want to practice in a rural area. As far as I can see there is 1 incentive program in place to get doctors into rural areas the National Health Services Corps scholarship - effective in its own way. As a perminant solution to the problem though we need to get states such as MT, ID, AK, WY, etc. to provide their own regions with their own doctors. Talk about competition to get into med school - try competing with an applicant pool from 5-6 states to get into the 5-6 slots that UW reserves for people from hick states (not that I tried, I hate Seattle). The west is made up of states that don't have the funding or ambition to even try to set up an MD or DO program! To find people who want to live in rural areas find applicants from rural areas. I didn't need folks to lower the bar for me to get in, but it would have been nice to have a school that gave me in-state odds on admission. In state odds for any state but cali that is. Not to mention I don't think I will be learning much about rural medicine in NY. Oh well. Can't complain. I got in someplace.
    That is my rant. I am done. Go outside. Enjoy spring.
     
  26. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    There are plenty of new medical school slots that have opened in the last ten years. Just not many allopathic slots. But in the end it doesn't matter........a DO school opening up with a class size of 100 has exactly the same impact as an MD school opening up the same size. I think the key is the total number of 'medical school' slots in the US, and that seems to be increasing at a fair rate.

    And of course there could be more MD schools. And more DO schools. You could theoretically keep adding spots(MD or DO, doesn't make a difference since they are all filling the same slots) until you get within 2% or so of 24,000 slots, since that is the number of 1st year residency slots each year. But for various reasons(funding issues, AMA lobbying issues, etc) that's not going to happen.
     
  27. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    I think part of the problem is that working in a very small community setting limits in some part future career opportunities for young physicians. I've heard that making transitions from big cities to smaller communities is easy, but not so the other way. If you worked as an EM physician in rural Alabama for the last 8 years, would it be easy to get a position as an attending at a big city ED later on?
     
  28. ericdamiansean

    ericdamiansean High Profiler
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    I personally feel that there won't be a shortage...but there will be a shortage for applications for certain countries as Russia and Ukraine's doing a pretty fair job providing medical education at a fraction of what most medical schools offer especially in the US and the UK

    some of the people whom I know are already studying there though..I'm pretty suspicious of how they got in :idea:
     
  29. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Morir es vivir... morir es vivir...
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    Higher MCATs/GPAs does NOT mean more competeive--it may well be the case that the system is becoming more numbers driven, and people with the greatest strengths in volunteer work/ECs/clinical experience are being passed over for people with higher stats. Just because the standards may be changing doesn't mean that the accepted applicants are getting better.
     

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