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    More women than ever flocking to med school

    Medical school enrollment has traditionally been dominated by men—until now. The number of women enrolling in med school surpassed men for the first time last year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

    Women represented 50.7 percent of the 21,338 med school enrollees in 2017. Female matriculants increased by 3.2 percent, while male matriculants declined by 0.3 percent. The overall number of U.S. med school matriculants rose 1.5 percent with total enrollment at 89,904 students.

    What does this mean for women in medicine?

     

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    “It’s important because women have been underrepresented in medicine for a long time, and we really strive to have a workforce that reflects the general working population,” says Alison Whelan, MD, chief medical education officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

    “Overall, a workplace that reflects a 50-50 balance is reasonable, so we should continue the effort to maintain this balance, and make sure it’s not just a onetime blip and then goes back down again,” says Whelan.

    Why are More Women going to Med School?

    Entering classes at the nation’s medical schools continue to diversify. From 2015 to 2017, African American matriculants increased by 12.6 percent, and Hispanic, Latino and matriculants of Spanish origin rose by 15.4 percent. It’s no surprise women followed suit.

    Whelan says increasing diversity has been a long-time goal. Pipeline programs that encourage young women and girls to enroll in medicine as well as other sciences, where they’ve been traditionally underrepresented, are paying off. These K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs encourage gender equality.

    “Oftentimes, showcasing role models and mentors for women, these programs and others encourage minority populations to apply,” says Whelan.

    Next: What women think

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    • Anonymous
      Articles like this want me to pull my hair out. PC nonsense at it`s best. Men yet again made to feel guilty about women being under-represented in medicine when the doors have been open for over 40 years. They have always been welcomed and accepted as colleagues so please leave the victim premise out of it. If they wan to go to med school-then go and accept what is a career of self- sacrifice for others.
    • Anonymous
      More PC nonsense. Gender and ethnicity are irrelevant. The practice of Medicine was once a noble and demanding profession. It is rapidly regressing to a civil service job. In order to reverse and restore our medical system we must appeal to and seek out the best talent that can be found, i.e. content of character and ability of mind, regardless of color of skin, ethnicity, or chromosome type
    • UBM User
      "Medical school enrollment has traditionally been dominated by men—until now." Perhaps you should walk down the hallway at the University of Michigan and look at the pictures of the graduating classes. It was not so initially at all. Best always. . .
    • UBM User
      This news does not excite me as much as it does the women who are quoted. As the article mentions, medicine is an arduous career with long hours, and requires some self-sacrifice. More women students will not necessarily increase the number of practicing physicians, because most women do not work as 1.0 FTE for their entire career, and retire earlier than their male colleagues. It is false to say we need a 50-50 gender workforce, merely because we have the same percentages in the population. I want a physician there to care for me when I'm old.

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