News & Updates From Generation Y

Expecting A Surge In Medical Schools

In Millennial Matters on February 21, 2010 at 12:28 PM

From the New York Times:

Peter Allen applied to 30 medical schools after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh last year. Twenty-eight said no.

Of the two that said yes, one had something in common with Mr. Allen: It, too, was starting out in medicine. He enrolled in the inaugural class of The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, Pa.

“I was ecstatic that I had been accepted to a medical school,” Mr. Allen said, adding that he would have gone for a master’s in bioengineering if he had not been accepted. “It’s a giant sigh of relief; it secures your plans for the rest of your life really.”

The Commonwealth is one of nearly two dozen medical schools that have recently opened or might open across the country, the most at any time since the 1960s and ’70s.

These new schools are seeking to address an imbalance in American medicine that has been growing for a quarter century. Many bright students were fleeing to offshore medical schools, or giving up hope entirely, when they could not get into domestic schools. Meanwhile, American hospitals were using foreign-trained and foreign-born physicians to fill medical residencies. During the 1980s and ’90s only one new medical school was established.

“Huge numbers of qualified American kids were not getting into American medical schools or going abroad to study,” Dr. Lawrence G. Smith, dean of the proposed Hofstra University School of Medicine, in Hempstead, N.Y., which is not yet recruiting students, said last week. “I think it was a kind of wake-up call.”

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