For many reasons, 2017 is the year of the woman. Adding to this win, for the first time, more women than men enrolled in U.S. medical schools, according to recent data released by The Association of American Medical Colleges.
The AAMC says women made up 50.7 percent of the 21,338 new enrollees in 2017 compared with 49.8 percent in 2016. Women enrollees are up almost 10 percent, men down almost 3 percent since 2015.
“We are very encouraged by the growing number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO in a statement. “This year’s matriculating class demonstrates that medicine is an increasingly attractive career for women and that medical schools are creating an inclusive environment.”
Although most new enrollees this year were women, men remained a slight majority (50.4 percent) of applicants. Overall, the number of applicants to medical schools declined by 2.6 percent from 2016. “Although this is the largest decrease in 15 years, it is not the first; previous declines occurred in 2002 and 2008,” the AAMC noted.
There was another big win for diversity in the medical field. Minorities are demonstrating increased enrollment at the nation’s medical schools. From 2015 to 2017, black matriculants increased by almost 13 percent, and Latino matriculants by 15.4 percent.
Despite this increased diversity in gender and race, Kirch says there is much more work to do but that without a doubt it is a “notable milestone.”
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