School enrollments up; can residency slots keep pace?
United States medical schools are on track to increase their enrollment 30 percent by 2017, according to new data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
First-year medical school enrollment is projected to reach 21,434 in 2017-2018—a 30 percent increase above first-year enrollment in 2002-03, the baseline year used to calculate the enrollment increases that the AAMC called for in 2006.
AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, MD, reacting to the new enrollment survey data, said, "We're pleased to see our nation's medical schools increasing enrollment to address the projected physician shortage. But as we saw in the results of this year's Match, Congress now needs to do its part and act quickly to increase the number of federally funded residency training positions in order for all medical school graduates to be able to complete their training and become practicing physicians."
Unfortunately, noted one expert in a HealthLeaders Media article, it will be an "enormous challenge" to secure additional GME funding from Congress in the current fiscal environment.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, physician leaders are seeing a double whammy in the form of insufficient residency slots and "enormous" medical student debt. State legislators are listening, however, and are considering funding of additional residency slots and an increase in medical student loan forgiveness programs in exchange for commitments to practice in the state's medically underserved areas.
The AMA is working to address the residency shortage through advocacy in Washington as well as with its Save GME grassroots campaign, which makes it easy for medical students and physicians to urge their members of Congress to preserve GME funding and lift the federal cap on residency slots. A new infographic (PDF) from the Save GME website provides a graphic overview of the problem and its impacts on our nation's access to health care services.
Also see "Medical school enrollment outpacing available residency slots" (AAFP News Now).
Foundation awards $10,000 scholarships to med students
Eight medical students from historically underrepresented groups will be getting a hand with their medical education costs from the AMA Foundation.
The recipients of the 2013 Minority Scholars Awards were recently announced and will receive $10,000 toward their medical degree expenses. These first- and second-year students were selected based on their scholastic achievement, financial need and commitment to eliminating health care disparities.
"The AMA Foundation is proud to support these exceptional medical students," AMA Foundation President Clarence Chou, MD, said in a news release. "Their outstanding academic achievements, leadership experience and service to their communities speak to their commitment to make a difference in the health of minority populations."
Quotable: New medical schools, old problems?
"Aside from the question of where the faculty will come from, one might also ask whether a 30 percent increase in the number of [medical] schools over 2002 is needed or desirable. The accrediting bodies focus only on quality and assiduously avoid the question of numbers, so any answer will have to come from other sources—political, economic, population health and business. Of course, these disparate sources rarely talk to each other and there is no more a coordinated plan for medical education in this country than there is a plan for how health care can be delivered humanely, professionally, and cost effectively to all."
"Proposed U.S. Allopathic and Osteopathic Medical Schools"
James E. Lewis, Sr., PhD
USF wins latest AMA-MSS Event of the Month award
University of South Florida College of Medicine is the latest winner of the AMA Medical Student Section's (MSS) new "Event of the Month" award, which showcases recruitment, community service, education and AMA-MSS National Service Project events coordinated by individual AMA medical student sections.
USF won for its Wellness Week Boot Camp held in April. The local section coordinated weekly "boot camp" sessions for students to have the opportunity to complete a full-body workout on campus. Students from the MD and DPT programs participated in these sessions and were excited about exercising together as a group and promoting a healthy school/life balance. The AMA provided funding for the fitness equipment which included kettle bell weights, mats, elastic bands and dumbbells. Visit the Event of the Month web page for a detailed description and to read about past winners.
Is your AMA medical student section holding similar events? When you request a grant through the AMA Section Involvement Grant (SIG) program, you are automatically eligible for the "Event of the Month" award, which the AMA selects each month. At the end of the school year, all monthly awards will be showcased in June at the AMA-MSS Annual Assembly Meeting and be voted on by students for one "Event of the Year" winner.
Through the SIG program, the AMA-MSS provides an opportunity for local AMA medical student sections to:
- Educate students about the AMA and provide an opportunity for students to get more involved.
- Help put AMA policy into action by providing a service to medical school campuses or communities.
- Engage in activities that focus on AMA's top priorities.
News and notes
- New building at the University of California - San Diego School of Medicine represents "radical departure" from traditional medical education (San Diego Union-Tribune).
- Payback time: New med school graduates who received full scholarships describe their desire to serve the community (NBC News).
- Practice what they preach: Medical students in Stanford University School of Medicine's "Personalized Medicine and Genomics" class learn about their own DNA code (San Jose Mercury News).
- The AMA's Susan Skochelak, MD describes the association's $10 million initiative to accelerate change in medical education (Hospital and Health Networks).
- Texas legislators approve new medical school along the Texas border with Mexico (Brownsville Herald).
AMA resources for medical schools and students
- Get trend data on undergraduate and graduate medical education.
- Learn about the AMA Medical Student Section.
- Learn about the AMA Section on Medical Schools.
- Learn about the AMA Council on Medical Education.
- Check out the AMA's Academic Leadership Program
- Learn more about patient safety in medical education.
- Follow the AMA professional ethics Twitter page, and look for the #MedEdAMA hashtag for tweets on the AMA's Twitter page about medical education.
- Read the latest issue of American Medical News