WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Doctor Shortage Looms, Even As Med School Applications Go Up

Play associated audio
The AAMC report found greater levels of diversity than in past years amongst medical school applicants.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chickenlump/2038512161/
The AAMC report found greater levels of diversity than in past years amongst medical school applicants.

More than 45,000 students applied to medical school this year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Even so the president of the organization is warning this might not necessarily translate into new doctors.

The three percent increase continues an upward trend in applications. Dr Darrell Kirch is President of the AAMC. He says these students are also more diverse, with record numbers of African-American and Hispanic students applying.

This interest in medicine should be good news, as Kirch says the nation is expected to face a shortage of 90,000 doctors over the next decade. But he says the projected increased enrollment will not translate into a single new doctor to care for patients until Congress agrees to lift a 15-year cap and funds more residency training positions. Kirch says it takes three to seven years of training after medical school to become a practicing physician.

"The very ominous fact that if we don t deal with the freeze of residency positions, we will have a serious national problem," says Kirch.

The 45,000 applicants are competing for approximately 20,000 medical school spots.

Association of American Medical Colleges Enrollment Data 2012
NPR

'The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear' Echoes Real-Life Republican Race

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Stuart Stevens, a former strategist for Mitt Romney, whose new novel, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear, tells the story of a neck-and-neck Republican primary campaign that ends up at a brokered convention.
NPR

How The Humble Orange Sweet Potato Won Researchers The World Food Prize

A public health campaign to sell Africans on the virtues of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes — bred for higher Vitamin A levels — has helped combat malnutrition on the continent.
NPR

Fact Check: Trump's Speech On The Economy Annotated

NPR's politics team has annotated Donald Trump's Tuesday speech on the economy.
NPR

Click For Fewer Calories: Health Labels May Change Online Ordering Habits

Will it be a hamburger or hummus wrap for lunch? When customers saw indications of a meal's calorie content posted online, they put fewer calories in their cart, a study finds.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.