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  • Press Release

    New AAMC Data on Diversity in Medical School Enrollment in 2023

    Media Contacts

    Stuart Heiser, Senior Media Relations Specialist

    U.S. medical schools enrolled a more diverse first-year class in the 2023-24 academic year, with increases among some groups but declines in others, according to data released today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). The data show an increase in matriculants among two groups historically underrepresented in medicine: Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish Origin and American Indian or Alaska Native.

    The number of matriculants (first-year enrollees) was up 1.2% from 2022-23 to 2023-24 despite the number of applicants to medical schools declining for a second year in a row, by 4.7%.* Total medical school enrollment grew 1.6%.

    “The number of applicants in some health professions, including those applying to medical schools, has declined in 2023. While we do not know the exact explanation for the decline in the number of applicants to medical school, it will not deter our continuing efforts to increase the number of diverse applicants and matriculants who will make up the future physician workforce. Evidence shows that a more diverse workforce can improve health outcomes in our communities,” said David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC president and CEO.

    Diversity of enrollees

    Data highlights on the diversity of medical school enrollees include:

    • Race and ethnicity:
      • The number of American Indian or Alaska Native matriculants rose 14.7% and Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish Origin matriculants increased 4.5% since 2022-23.
      • The number of Black or African American matriculants remained stable, falling slightly by 0.1%, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander matriculants fell 6.9% since last year.
      • Black or African American students made up 10.0% of total matriculants in 2023-24, a slight decrease from 10.2% in 2022-23 but up from 8.4% in 2016-17.
      • Matriculants who are Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin comprised 12.7% of total matriculants this year, up from 12.3% last year and up from 10.5% in 2016-17.
    • Gender:
      • Women comprised 56.6% of applicants, 55.4% of matriculants, and 54.6% of total enrollment in 2023-24.
      • This is the fifth year in a row that women made up the majority of these three distinct groups.
      • Women matriculants rose 0.7%. 
      • Among men, there was a 1.0% increase in the number of matriculants in 2023-24. This is the second year in a row that the number of men matriculants did not decline, after six years of declines.
    • Economic:
      • The data show increased economic diversity of matriculants.
      • Matriculants with a parent whose highest level of education was less than a bachelor’s degree or any degree with an occupation categorized as “service, clerical, skilled, and unskilled” increased slightly (0.2%) over 2022-23, from 4,887 to 4,897.
      • The number of first-generation matriculants increased 2.5% over last year, from 2,543 to 2,606.

    Additional facts about the 2023-24 entering medical school class:

    • 171 matriculants are military veterans, an 11% increase over 2022-23.
    • As in previous years, medical school matriculants have very strong academic credentials, with a median undergraduate GPA of 3.84, even higher than in previous years.
    • Matriculants range in age from 18 to 62 years old (including 709 students over age 30), reflecting a wider age range and more older students than in previous years.
    • This year’s entering class demonstrated an even greater commitment to service. The entering class cumulatively performed nearly 17 million community service hours, an average of 736 hours per student, a 9% increase over last year.

    “It is heartening to see that enrollment at the nation’s medical schools continues to diversify, but it also shows us where more progress is needed,” said Geoffrey Young, PhD, AAMC senior director, transforming the health care workforce. “The increases in American Indian or Alaska Native applicants and matriculants are encouraging, though there is still much more work to be done to ensure that the future physician workforce reflects our nation’s diversity. The AAMC and our member medical schools are committed to increasing the number of students from historically underrepresented groups.”

    The AAMC's strategic plan is focused on diversifying the health care workforce by supporting the capacity building of pathway programs. The AAMC is making a concerted effort to engage learners as early as middle school to provide education about resources on learning about a career in medicine. In July 2023, the AAMC convened an educational summit bridging siloes across K-12, academic medicine, and national and community-based organizations. The AAMC also leads the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC), a coalition of more than 90 schools, programs, and health professions groups dedicated to training a health care workforce that meets the needs of all patients.

    “To continue to recruit diverse classes, the AAMC is collaborating with member medical schools to develop resources and guidance, including effective race-neutral practices and tools, to support admissions policies and procedures in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the consideration of race in admissions,” said Skorton.

    View the summary data tables here and the full data tables here.

    * Note to editors: 
    In 2021-22, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a record-setting and anomalous 17.8% increase in applicants. Applicants returned to pre-pandemic levels last year.

    The race and ethnicity data includes individuals who identified in one or more race/ethnicity categories. For example, “Black or African American” includes individuals who identified only as Black or African American, as well as those who identified as Black or African American and at least one other race/ethnicity category.

    The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the health of people everywhere through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 158 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; 13 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 academic health systems and teaching hospitals, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools, academic health systems and teaching hospitals, and the millions of individuals across academic medicine, including more than 193,000 full-time faculty members, 96,000 medical students, 153,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Following a 2022 merger, the Alliance of Academic Health Centers and the Alliance of Academic Health Centers International broadened participation in the AAMC by U.S. and international academic health centers.