- Women hit a milestone in 2017, enrolling in medical school in greater numbers than men, according to a new data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
- Of the 21,338 new enrollees this year, 50.7% were women, up from 49.8% in 2016. Nationwide, the number of new enrollees grew 1.5%, putting total enrollment at 89,904 students.
- But while matriculations rose in 2017, the number of medical school applicants declined by 2.6% from the previous year — the biggest drop in 15 years. Male applicants declined at a faster clip than female applicants — 4.4% versus 0.7%, respectively.
With a looming physician shortage in this country, the new data has both bright spots and warning signs. The AAMC has previously forecast the shortage could reach 105,000 by 2030. Contributing to the problem are burnout from EHR and other administrative tasks, regulatory requirements and the drain from baby boomer doctors who are starting to retire.
The AAMC’s data, however, includes some bright spots. In the past 15 years, the number of new medical school enrollees has grown by nearly 30%, and 22 new medical schools have launched since 2007. The number of entrants of color is also increasing, promising more diversity in the medical profession in the future.
“We are encouraged by the growing number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools,” Dr. Darrell Kirch, AAMC president and CEO, said in a statement. “This year’s matriculating class demonstrates that medicine is an increasingly attractive career for women and that medical schools are creating an inclusive environment.”
According to a new Doximity report, physician job growth is expected to increase by 15% by 2026. However, demand and compensation vary widely by region. Six cities, including San Francisco and Philadelphia, are in the top 10 for both pay and job growth, while Phoenix has seen pay levels decline.
The upward trend in healthcare jobs is evident in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics employment numbers. November saw 25,000 new jobs in ambulatory services and 7,000 each in physician offices and home healthcare. Outpatient care also showed growth, adding 4,000 jobs.
Surgeons were the highest paid profession in the U.S. this year, with a median annual salary of $409,665, a new CareerCast report shows. Six other healthcare professions also ranked in the top 10 best paying jobs.