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News Roundup: More Docs in the Pipeline

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 30, 2013

"At a time when the nation faces a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by the end of the decade and millions are gaining access to health insurance, we are very glad that more students than ever want to become physicians," AAMC President/CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in prepared remarks. "However, unless Congress lifts the 16-year-old cap on federal support for residency training, we will still face a shortfall of physicians across dozens of specialties."

"Students are doing their part by applying to medical school in record numbers. Medical schools are doing their part by expanding enrollment. Now Congress needs to do its part and act without delay to expand residency training to ensure that everyone who needs a doctor has access to one."

AAMC credits the overall growth in medical student enrollment in part to the creation of new medical schools as well as existing schools' efforts to expand their class sizes after the AAMC, in 2006, called for a 30% increase in enrollment to avert future doctor shortages.

In 2013, 14 medical schools increased their class sizes by more than 10%. Four new medical schools welcomed their first classes this year, contributing to about half of the overall enrollment increase. Since 2002, medical schools have increased the number of first-year students by 21.6%.

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