Sign up for the NEWS newsletter

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

Let our news meet your inbox

Survey: More People Than Ever Want to Be Doctors

by Suzanne Gamboa and Maggie Fox /

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

More people than ever want to be doctors, a new survey shows. Enrollment is up 25 percent this year over 2002, with more blacks and Hispanics applying and being accepted.

More than 52,000 people applied to medical school in 2015 — up more than 56 percent from 2002 — the survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) found. The association represents the 144 accredited U.S. medical schools and nearly 400 teaching hospitals and health systems.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

And 20,630 were enrolled, a 25 percent increase over the 16,488 enrolled in 2002.

“The number of Hispanic or Latino enrollees increased by 6.9 percent to 1,988, and the number of applicants increased by 10.3 percent to 4,839,” the AAMC said in a statement.

“African-American enrollees rose 11.6 percent to 1,576, while the number of applicants increased by 16.8 percent to a total of 4,661.”

“It is very encouraging to see consistent increases in the number and diversity of students in medical school,” said Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC.

“We are hopeful that this becomes a long-term trend as medical schools continue working in their communities to diversify the applicant pool through pipeline programs, outreach efforts, and holistic review initiatives.”

The AAMC said 52 percent of those starting medical school in 2015 were men and 48 percent women. About 1,000 more men than women applied to medical school in 2015 and about 900 more men than women enrolled.

Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, said an increase in enrollment of Latino students is a success, even if it falls short of the 17 percent of Hispanics who make up the U.S. population.

“This is a success the mainstream needs to hear about. We’re not all drug addicts or gang bangers — the (Donald) Trump message that we all need to go home,” Rios said. Last August, when he launched his bid as a GOP presidential candidate, Trump described many Mexicans and Mexican immigrants as criminals, rapists and drug couriers.

“These are people who have struggled to get where they are,” Rios said.

Rios said the cost of medical school puts it out of reach for many Latino and African-American students.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.