More Doctors on the Way, as Med School Enrollment Exceeds Goals

As the physician shortage continues, it’s promising to know that medical school enrollment has outpaced growth goals. But the crisis isn’t over quite yet.

Medical school enrollment is not only up, but it has surpassed growth benchmarks set by the Association of American Medical Colleges, according to the results of the AAMC’s 2018 Medical School Enrollment Survey.

In 2006, the AAMC called for a 30% increase in medical school enrollment to help alleviate growing concerns regarding the long-predicted physician shortage. Medical school enrollment has now grown by 31% since 2002, just above the mark, and when combined with schools of osteopathic medicine, enrollment is now 52% higher than it was in 2002. The AAMC ties this growth to a number of factors, including increases in class sizes and the creation of 29 new medical schools.

Though the numbers are promising, concerns still remain high—particularly those regarding the availability of graduate medical education opportunities on state and national levels, as well as the number of clinical training sites and available preceptors. The AAMC is now seeking a shift of focus to increase the number of graduate medical education slots available, as well as calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act.

The full results of the survey can be found here.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Planning on Med School? 4 Benefits of Shadowing Doctors

by Emma Sturgis

Deciding to go to med school is a big decision. You don’t want to end up going through schooling, only to find out it’s not the right path for you. However, if you shadow doctors, you could come out ahead. Not only will it make you more confident in med school to avoid dropping out, but you could enjoy 4 other benefits:

Seeing Procedures First Hand

Knowing what kind of doctor you want to be is a tough decision to make. While you have some time in med school to figure it out, you don’t have that long. You need to understand what you would be getting yourself into with each specialty. Shadowing a doctor will introduce you to the different procedures and day to day activities you would be doing. That way, you don’t get blindsided on day one.

Understanding What the Questions on the Test Mean

If you are taking med school seriously, then you will already be getting your hands on MCAT prep materials, asking others in the field what their suggestions are, and studying every chance you get. However, it helps to have first-hand experience and see the real live application of what the textbooks say. That is one of the biggest advantages of following a real doctor around for a set period of time.

Professional Networking

If you think getting your dream job will be as simple as completing medical school and getting an offer, think again. Networking is just as important in the medical field as in any other profession. Knowing the right people can make all the difference between working at the best hospital in the city or having to move entirely.

Taking a Trial Run

Medical school is one of the most difficult things you will go through when becoming a doctor. The hours are long. The tests are tough. You will have little downtime. However, the end is worth it. However, you should verify that this is really what you want to do. Shadowing a doctor is the perfect way to take being a doctor for a trial run so you can be that much more confident in your decision.

Becoming a doctor is an exciting prospect. However, you need to plan it the right way. By shadowing doctors, you can learn the industry. You can avoid common pitfalls that others fall into. In addition, it will help you with med school itself. So give some real consideration to shadowing a doctor before you have your first day of medical school.

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.