Medical School Applications Surge as COVID-19 Inspires Black and Latino Students to Become Doctors

February 3, 2021 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce, For Career Seekers, For Employers, For the Workforce, Recruitment & Volunteers

Last modified February 4, 2021

According to this article from USA Today, a growing number of Americans are embracing medical school in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications to medical schools for this fall are up 18%, and there are some schools who have seen a 30% jump. Many school officials specifically note that the number of applicants from traditionally underrepresented Americans is helping to drive the surge.

As stated in the article, for many students of color, everything from the cost of medical school to the lack of role models in the field are hurdles that administrators are trying to overcome by more actively pursuing non-white collegians. School officials are also ramping up scholarship opportunities.

In some cases, keeping tuition costs down goes a long way in keeping med school an option for students who might otherwise turn away from the idea, considering such school loans can hit $250,000 and more. These efforts are needed as Black doctors continue to remain in short supply. Only around 5% of physicians nationally identify as such, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“Medical schools increasingly realize the importance of training a diverse physician workforce that can care for a diverse nation,” said Geoffrey Young, the association’s senior director of student affairs and programs. “We still have a lot of work to do on that.”

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