A Watershed Moment for Women at U.S. Medical Schools

The Association of American Medical Colleges recently released new data on applicants and matriculants at U.S. medical schools for 2017.

In 2017, there were 37,344 students who applied to medical schools for the first time. Of these 37,344 first-time applicants in 2017, 19,272, or 51.6 percent, were women. The number of first-time women applicants was down by 2.1 percent from 2016. However, since 2012, the number of women first-time medical school applicants has increased by nearly 21 percent. In the same time period, first-time male applicants to medical school have increased by only 1.7 percent.

In 2017, there were 10,810 women who matriculated at U.S. medical schools, compared to 10,516 men. This is the first time in history that more women have entered U.S. medical schools than men. Since 2012, the number of women matriculating at U.S. medical schools is up 19.3 percent. During the same period, the number men entering U.S. medical schools is up a mere 0.6 percent.

Darrell G. Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, stated that “we are very encouraged by the growing number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools. This year’s matriculating class demonstrates that medicine is an increasingly attractive career for women and that medical schools are creating an inclusive environment. While we have much more work to do to attain broader diversity among our students, faculty, and leadership, this is a notable milestone.”

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