Percentage of Minority Medical School Applicants Increases for the First Time Since 1996
The percentage of under-represented minority medical school applicants increased for the first time since 1996 to 4,267, or 1.9 percent above 1999. The number of under-represented minorities that matriculated in 2000 remained about the same, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The AAMC classifies under-represented minorities as Black, American Indian, Mexican American and Mainland Puerto Rican.
In addition, the AAMC reported last month that U.S. medical school applicants still exceed available positions despite an overall drop in medical school applications. Slightly more than 37,000 individuals applied to U.S. medical schools for the 2000-01 school year. Although this figure is 3.6 percent lower than the number of applicants last year, it remains well over twice the number of available positions.
According to the AAMC,
several factors may be contributing to the decline in overall medical school applicants, including:
• A relatively strong economy and the increased variety of exciting and intellectually challenging professional opportunities outside the traditional career choices;
• A natural ebb and flow of interest in professional schools in general;
• A perceived loss of physician autonomy due to recent changes in the health care marketplace;
• A continued backlash to
affirmative action efforts; and
• Concern over the high
levels of educational debt
typically required to complete medical training.
Nationwide, 16,303 students entered medical school, a slight increase from the 16,221 last year. As it has for the past 20 years, the number of matriculating
first-year medical students
has remained roughly the
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