A new survey from the Association of American Medical Colleges (PDF) predicts that by 2016, first-year enrollment in U.S. medical schools will nearly match the 30% increase in enrollment that the association called for in 2006.
According to the AAMC's 2011 Medical School Enrollment Survey, first-year medical school enrollment will record a gain of 29.6% in the 14-year period from the 2002-03 school year to the 2016-17 school year. That increase would bring the enrollment total to 21,376—slightly under the 30% increase that the AAMC had hoped to see by 2015 to address a pending physician shortage. The AAMC estimates a shortage of 90,000 primary-care and specialty physicians by 2020.
AAMC President and CEO Dr. Darrell Kirch lauded the efforts of medical schools in increasing enrollment but said more work is needed: "This won't amount to a single new doctor in practice without an expansion of residency positions," he said in a news release.