Female applicants to U.S. medical schools outnumbered male applicants for the second year in a row, making up slightly more than 50% of applicants, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Overall, the number of applicants to U.S. medical schools increased almost 3% for the 2004-05 school year, to 35,727, about the same rate of increase as the previous year, the AAMC said. Meantime, 16,638 would-be doctors entered their first-year of medical school, less than a 1% increase over the previous year. Of those, slightly less than half -- 8,229 -- were women.
Jordan Cohen, president of the AAMC, which represents all 125 U.S. medical schools, said he was encouraged by an increase in minority enrollees -- a 2.5% increase among blacks and about 8% among Hispanics -- following decreases for both in the fall of 2003. This was the first admissions cycle since a Supreme Court decision in June 2003 upheld affirmative action in university admissions. "This is a gratifying result," Cohen said. "We interpret (the numbers) to reflect the fact that the decision really clarified the lawfulness and appropriateness of using affirmative action measures." -- by Michael Romano