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ACD Biomedical Workforce Working Group Data

Historical Trends and Future Projections of Medical School Enrollment

Historical Trends and Future Projections of Medical School Enrollment:

  • Medical Schools and Their Applicants: An Analysis, Health Affairs, 22, no.4 (2003): 71-84.

List of accredited US Medical Schools:

Link is broken as of 7/25/2020, and replacement resource is not available

U.S. Medical School Applicants and Students 1982-1983 to 2010-2011 - AAMC

  • Source:
  • Data: (Link is broken as of 07/25/2020, and replacement resource is not available)
U.S. Medical School Applicants 1982-83 to 2010-11

The numbers in this chart reflect discrete applicants, not the total number of applications. For the 2010-2011 entering class, U.S. medical schools received 580,304 applications from 42,742 applicants, an average of 14 per applicant. There were also 31,834 first-time applicants - up 3.5% from 31,063 in 2009-2010

Recent Studies and Reports on Physician Shortages in the US (August 2011):

  • Source: AAMC recentworkforcestudiesnov09.pdf
  • The report presents a summary of recent studies that have concluded that the US physician workforce is facing current or future shortages.

Projection of Student Enrollment at U.S. Medical Schools:

In 2006, in response to concerns of a likely future physician shortage, the AAMC recommended a 30 percent increase in U.S. medical school enrollment by 2015. This recommendation used the first-year enrollment of 16,488 students in 2002 as a baseline. A 30 percent increase would thus lead to 21,434 first-year medical students per year, an increase of 4,946.

Figure 2. Projections Based on Average Annula Growth from 2002 to 2015 Across All Medical Schools

Source: AAMC Results of the 2010 Medical School Enrollment Survey, June 2011

  • AAMC enrollment survey 2011.pdf
    • In 2002, there were 125 medical schools. By early 2011, one additional existing school had received Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation and eight new medical schools had been granted preliminary accreditation status by the LCME bringing the number of U.S. medical schools to 134.
    • First-year medical school enrollment in 2015-16 is projected to reach 21, 041; 27.6% above first-year medical school enrollment in 2002-03.
    • Current projections indicate medical school enrollment is on track to reach the 30% targeted increase by 2016 or 2017, though only with the addition of seven schools still in applicant or candidate status.