Michael C. Geokas, MD, PhD; Barbara J. Branson, MD
The applicant-to-acceptance ratio in the nation's 127 medical schools has slowly but steadily declined during the last decade to 1.7:1 (60.5% acceptance rate) for the 1987-1988 academic year. The 28 123 applicants in this academic year represent a decrease of 3200 applicants from the previous year. The decline in the number of applicants is even more striking because it occurred despite the welcome increase of female applicants between 1965 to 1988 (36% of the entering class in the 1987-1988 academic year). The laudable changes in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) examination, which take effect in 1991, will not solve this problem. We believe that the causes of the flight away from medicine as a career are several and represent the combined effect of changes in the practice of medicine itself and their negative impact on the profession, as well as deeply-seated shifts in values, attitudes, and aspirations among the young people in our society. We discuss several factors concerning the phenomenon in question and offer some suggestions concerning solutions for this important problem. Our goal in this brief essay is to stimulate discussion and awareness among physicians concerning medical school admissions and to galvanize into action the medical profession and other key persons who are keenly interested in high-quality health care for our people.
Geokas MC, Branson BJ. Recruiting Students for Medicine. Ann Intern Med. ;111:433–436. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-111-5-433
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(5):433-436.
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