U.S. Medical School Enrollment Projected to Increase by 17 Percent

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http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/2007/070212.htm

U.S. Medical School Enrollment Projected to Increase by 17 Percent
For Immediate Release Press Release

Contact: Retha Sherrod
202-828-0975
[email protected]


Washington, D.C., February 12, 2007 - First-year enrollment in U.S. medical schools is projected to increase 17 percent by 2012 to nearly 19,300 students, according to an annual survey of medical school expansion plans released today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).
"The need for more doctors is real and will become more urgent as our population grows and ages," said AAMC President Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. "This increase is a significant step in the right direction, and we are pleased that 71 U.S. medical schools plan to expand their class sizes over the next five years. But clearly, we must find additional ways to stimulate more growth in medical school capacity so that we have enough doctors to care for our nation in the coming decades."

The estimated expansion would move U.S. medical schools to the halfway point of a 30 percent enrollment increase recommended by the AAMC last year. However, the report notes that many of these planned increases depend upon state support or other outside funding sources.

The AAMC Center for Workforce Studies conducted the survey of the 125 U.S. medical school deans in the fall of 2006 to track trends in medical school enrollment over the next five years. A total of 121 schools completed the survey. The information provided by the schools was compared to the baseline academic year of 2002-2003, when first-year enrollment totaled 16,448 students.

Survey results indicated that total first-year enrollment in existing U.S. medical schools is projected to increase by 2,558 students (15.5 percent) by 2012. Public institutions would supply 1,880 of these new enrollment slots (73 percent), and 678 would come from private institutions (26 percent). Projected enrollment for new medical schools accounts for an additional 1.5 percent of the expansion. While it is not possible to know the exact number of new schools that will open in the next five years, the AAMC report estimates that five new medical schools would enroll 250 more students by 2012, for an additional 1.5 percent.

According to the survey, existing U.S. medical schools that are expanding will do so through a variety of mechanisms, including new clinical affiliations (68 percent), expansion of existing campuses (50 percent), and new regional/branch campuses (22 percent).

The key barriers to expansion identified by the survey included:


Available scholarships - 49 percent
Classroom space - 44 percent
Ambulatory preceptors - 44 percent
Costs - 41 percent

The annual survey of U.S. medical schools is conducted by the AAMC Center for Workforce Studies as part of the association's ongoing effort to monitor and analyze physician supply and demand, as well as to identify strategies to retain doctors in the workforce and make more effective use of practicing physicians. These goals and others will be discussed at the upcoming AAMC Physician Workforce Research Conference, May 2-4 in Washington, D.C.
 

QuantumMechanic

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so on average, each american med school will have 20 more students per class. it seems that lecture halls at most med schools I visited are already near their capacity...maybe that was an incorrect perception, but I wonder if it will be physically possible to increase class sizes at some med schools.
 

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so on average, each american med school will have 20 more students per class. it seems that lecture halls at most med schools I visited are already near their capacity...maybe that was an incorrect perception, but I wonder if it will be physically possible to increase class sizes at some med schools.

at wayne, i think, they have a video camera showing lectures in other rooms. the problem actually might be trying to expand the two final years of medschool and residency
 
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sirus_virus

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There is no shortage of doctors. Medschools are just looking for more victims to jack of their money. That is why they are constantly expanding classes and raising tuition. Soon doctors will be like lawyers, with excess supply and not enough work.
 

inside_edition

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There is no shortage of doctors. Medschools are just looking for more victims to jack of their money. That is why they are constantly expanding classes and raising tuition. Soon doctors will be like lawyers, with excess supply and not enough work.

I was thinking of the same thing but I still haven't had an acceptance. After I get an acceptance I'll be against increasing enrollment.
 

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so on average, each american med school will have 20 more students per class. it seems that lecture halls at most med schools I visited are already near their capacity...maybe that was an incorrect perception, but I wonder if it will be physically possible to increase class sizes at some med schools.

And if people think *now* that they don't get much in the way of internal scholarships....
 

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by 2012, most of us in pre-allo will be in med school and beyond
 

Towelie

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There is no shortage of doctors. Medschools are just looking for more victims to jack of their money. That is why they are constantly expanding classes and raising tuition. Soon doctors will be like lawyers, with excess supply and not enough work.

Your statement is half right, half *****ic. There is a massive shortage of doctors in rural and urban underserved areas. It is extremely well established in the literature, and likely to increase in the coming years.

Your statement about the motivation behind the class size increase may be correct. There is very little evidence that increasing the class sizes will do much to alleviate the physicians shortage, particularly if residency slots do not increase.
 

sirus_virus

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I was thinking of the same thing but I still haven't had an acceptance. After I get an acceptance I'll be against increasing enrollment.

Some specialties like pathology and neurology are already experiencing oversupply. What they need is more primary care physicians. Instead of wasting money expanding class size, they could just find a way to increase primary care pay, and those residency programs will be filled overnight.
 

em783

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There is no shortage of doctors. Medschools are just looking for more victims to jack of their money. That is why they are constantly expanding classes and raising tuition. Soon doctors will be like lawyers, with excess supply and not enough work.

You know, although all the latest news and hype is that with the aging population we need more physicians, etc., I myself have been wondering whether this is just that ... overblown hype. I mean, it's been said that we are soon to enter a crisis with such a shortage of physicians and nurses, but could it be possible that it's an overstatement?

I honestly don't believe that the reason behind increasing the number of seats is simply due to a money-making scheme, but even so it makes me wonder whether there will be *too* many doctors? If there's such a need for physicians for our baby boomer population, why is it that there isn't a push for entering med students to go into Geriatrics? Yes, it is a primary care field, but it seems as though there is more focus on other primary care arenas....it seems to me that the larger emphasis should be on redistribution of doctor concentration to more rural areas and attracting them out of the urban setting. But then again, I'm no expert on all this so I could be really wrong in my thought processes here...

Another thing I wonder is how this is all going to work. The US will be pumping out more physicians, and the way our system is going we will be entering a Universal health care system of some sort (which is ultimately necesary...18% GDP to healthcare?!) where we will all probably be earning around 30% less OR just working a lottt hardedr, yet the costs will continue to rise for medical education. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should stay in our current state of healthcare mess...but it just sounds like a whole lot of confusion to me.
 

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All good issues raised here. Universal healthcare seems to be a near reality. 18% of GDP is outrageous.
To me, it really sucks that we are all entering this 'amazing' profession when it will be reaching a low point. A saturated market of physicians, increasing costs, lower salaries. Well at least it shows that most people aren't in it only for the money, if they are, good luck to them.
 

sirus_virus

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All good issues raised here. Universal healthcare seems to be a near reality. 18% of GDP is outrageous.
To me, it really sucks that we are all entering this 'amazing' profession when it will be reaching a low point. A saturated market of physicians, increasing costs, lower salaries. Well at least it shows that most people aren't in it only for the money, if they are, good luck to them.

What is all this nonsense rhetoric you guys are spilling all over the place? First of all it is 14.6% GDP, and what do you expect when we are the most obese, sedentary and highest tobacco consuming country. You are ****ing going to spend more on healthcare if you are unhealthier. What do you want to spend the bulk of your GDP on, wars? movies? You guys cannot feel good about your career choice without reminding people you are not doing it for money. Who said physicians accounted for most of the healthcare expenditure? BTW, is this thread not about class expansion? How the hell did GDP creep into the conversation.
 

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What is all this nonsense rhetoric you guys are spilling all over the place? First of all it is 14.6% GDP, and what do you expect when we are the most obese, sedentary and highest tobacco consuming country. You are ****ing going to spend more on healthcare if you are unhealthier. What do you want to spend the bulk of your GDP on, wars? movies? You guys cannot feel good about your career choice without reminding people you are not doing it for money. Who said physicians accounted for most of the healthcare expenditure? BTW, is this thread not about class expansion? How the hell did GDP creep into the conversation.
maybe he was working up into the argument that if we did the stupid thing and went with universal healthcare there'd REALLY be a shortage of physicians out there, so increasing the class size would be essential.
 
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Towelie

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What is all this nonsense rhetoric you guys are spilling all over the place? First of all it is 14.6% GDP, and what do you expect when we are the most obese, sedentary and highest tobacco consuming country. You are ****ing going to spend more on healthcare if you are unhealthier. What do you want to spend the bulk of your GDP on, wars? movies? You guys cannot feel good about your career choice without reminding people you are not doing it for money. Who said physicians accounted for most of the healthcare expenditure? BTW, is this thread not about class expansion? How the hell did GDP creep into the conversation.

Do you really think that the US is the highest (per capita) tobacco consuming country?

Try #29. Notice that many of the countries above us have universal healthcare, and spend a lower percent of their GDP on healthcare than we do.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_dai_smo-health-daily-smokers
 

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Do you really think that the US is the highest (per capita) tobacco consuming country?

Try #29. Notice that many of the countries above us have universal healthcare, and spend a lower percent of their GDP on healthcare than we do.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_dai_smo-health-daily-smokers
how's the quality of healthcare at those other places?

I'd rather be seen in the US.

I have nothing to back this up, but I bet you'd find that we pay more per capita for a LOT of things than anyone else. healthcare's definitely just one of the many things we pay a lot for.
 

QuantumMechanic

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Notice that many of the countries above us have universal healthcare, and spend a lower percent of their GDP on healthcare than we do.

The US has half of the MRI systems in the world...we spend more on healthcare because our health care is the best (assuming you have access to it, but thats not the point)
 

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The US has half of the MRI systems in the world...we spend more on healthcare because our health care is the best (assuming you have access to it, but thats not the point)

Correct, It all boils down to access, ie, insuring the uninsured. The U.S has the best technology, training and research. All that stuff costs money, and rightfully so. I dare any son of a ***** that thinks the United states healthcare sytem sucks to fly their child, mother or father to singapore whenever they have a medical complication.
 

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ya know maybe if president bush would stop spending so much on iraq and spend it on healthcare problems here we could be in a better position, im tired of the top officials saying its not realistic to spend xxx amount of dollars to fix healthcare problems in the us, im not sure how much we spent in iraq but its clear we could have definetly made better use of money...lying politicians...
 

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ya know maybe if president bush would stop spending so much on iraq and spend it on healthcare problems here we could be in a better position, im tired of the top officials saying its not realistic to spend xxx amount of dollars to fix healthcare problems in the us, im not sure how much we spent in iraq but its clear we could have definetly made better use of money...lying politicians...
the problems didn't start when we went to war in Iraq.

that's a nice attempt at making everything Bush's fault, though.
 

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Correct, It all boils down to access, ie, insuring the uninsured. The U.S has the best technology, training and research. All that stuff costs money, and rightfully so. I dare any son of a ***** that thinks the United states healthcare sytem sucks to fly their child, mother or father to singapore whenever they have a medical complication.

ever heard of medical tourism? people often go to foreign countries to get medical care performed at a much lower cost. personally, I would only want to get treated by an american MD but there are others who'd take chances.
 

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Your statement is half right, half *****ic. There is a massive shortage of doctors in rural and urban underserved areas. It is extremely well established in the literature, and likely to increase in the coming years.

Your statement about the motivation behind the class size increase may be correct. There is very little evidence that increasing the class sizes will do much to alleviate the physicians shortage, particularly if residency slots do not increase.

The shortage projection has nothing to do with the underserved. The aging baby boomer generation, much of which has insurance or medicare, is resulting in higher health care demands, because old people are less healthy and we are shortly going to have a lot more of them.

If residency slots don't increase, you drive US med students into those primary care slots previously being obtained by offshore folks, putting that cottage industry out of business, which might be the hidden agenda here. (There is a sentiment among some industry pundits that US med schools should meet US needs).
 

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OK the scope of my knowledge is really not limited to my response, people. And I'm assuming that's not the case for any of you either. My point is that US healthcare is obviously the best in the world in terms of research, technology, development, and the actual practice of medicine.

What I'm referring to as the major problem is its availability/access and cost, and while being #1 of course requires finances to fuel maintaining that status it's still expensive to the point of being disadvantageous to our society and that is the simple fact of the matter. Seeing as how US healthcare is the best in the world, the system should not be among the WORST in the world. You can't reconcile that because it's not benefiting society on the whole when, sure, they're getting wonderful treatment, only while struggling to make ends meet because their out of pocket payments are ridiculous. And that's a major issue that our country has yet to tackle...This is all very relevant to the topic, actually, and it's not difficult to see how.
 

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The shortage projection has nothing to do with the underserved. The aging baby boomer generation, much of which has insurance or medicare, is resulting in higher health care demands, because old people are less healthy and we are shortly going to have a lot more of them.

If residency slots don't increase, you drive US med students into those primary care slots previously being obtained by offshore folks, putting that cottage industry out of business, which might be the hidden agenda here. (There is a sentiment among some industry pundits that US med schools should meet US needs).
i agree with this statement. i believe also that since medicine has advanced, there will be more people living longer who will need more specific medical care. Hospitals may be more crowded and in need of more beds. They will definitely need more doctors to cover the increase in patients in the future.

But I always wonder, if this is true then how will medicine stand up financially with hospitals being in debt and healthcare becoming more and more expensive? Who will cover the costs?
 

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The shortage projection has nothing to do with the underserved. The aging baby boomer generation, much of which has insurance or medicare, is resulting in higher health care demands, because old people are less healthy and we are shortly going to have a lot more of them.


If you read the AAMC's workforce recommendation, you will see that they argue that medical school enrollment growth is the most necessary in states with numerous rural and urban underserved areas. They also specifically call for NHSC growth to help address this issue. You should read this:

http://www.aamc.org/workforce/workforceposition.pdf
 

sirus_virus

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OK the scope of my knowledge is really not limited to my response, people. And I'm assuming that's not the case for any of you either. My point is that US healthcare is obviously the best in the world in terms of research, technology, development, and the actual practice of medicine.

What I'm referring to as the major problem is its availability/access and cost, and while being #1 of course requires finances to fuel maintaining that status it's still expensive to the point of being disadvantageous to our society and that is the simple fact of the matter. Seeing as how US healthcare is the best in the world, the system should not be among the WORST in the world. You can't reconcile that because it's not benefiting society on the whole when, sure, they're getting wonderful treatment, only while struggling to make ends meet because their out of pocket payments are ridiculous. And that's a major issue that our country has yet to tackle...This is all very relevant to the topic, actually, and it's not difficult to see how.


All we need to do is find a way to insure the uninsured, and recruit more doctors from underserved communities and races(which the AMA is already doing but some selfish/desperate premeds are determined to derail this effort). I garauntee you that with that system, the U.S will begin to see value for it's money. If we want to be ahead in research and development we have to spend the most money, simple as that. With an economy as robust as this, with varying solid career alternatives, you have to pay doctors pretty well to keep them too.
 

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In the short-term, physicians in the US won't increase dramatically even with increased med school class size. There are still more residency spots each year (about 21,000 if I'm not mistaken) than US-trained med school graduates. The difference is made up by foreign-trained physicians entering US residencies. So in the short term, the number of foreigners getting residency spots will decrease. Bad news if you are trained out of the US. Not necessarily bad news (selfishly) if you are going into medicine right now.

Of course, the number of residency spots will likely increase in the coming years as well. But primary care residencies are sometimes not full, so there will need to be some sort of fundamental shift in the primary care physician compensation structure if the real problem is to be addressed.

Bottom line: This announcement means more US trained physicians, NOT more primary care physicians helping the under served (the real problem).
 

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Bottom line: This announcement means more US trained physicians, NOT more primary care physicians helping the under served (the real problem).

You are ignoring the fact that many IMGs leave the US after they are finished with residency. Because of this, filling these spots with US grads will do something to increase the number of primary care docs in the US, but this increase will be minimal.
 
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