A First:  Women Outnumber Men in First Year Enrollment in US Medical Schools

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  • A First:  Women Outnumber Men in First Year Enrollment in US Medical Schools
Shift In Gender Landscape

The Association of American Colleges reported in December that in 2017, the  number of female first year medical students exceeded the number of first year male medical students for the first time, with females comprising 50.7% of new enrollees.

The numbers over the past years have gradually shown an increase in both the number of females applying for medical school and in the percentage of females enrolled as first year students.  Today approximately thirty per cent of practicing physicians are women.


Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC stated “we are very encouraged by the growing number of women enrolling in US medical schools.  This year’s matriculating class demonstrates that medicine is an increasingly attractive career for women and that medical schools are creating an inclusive environment.  While we have much more work to do to attain broader diversity among our students, faculty and leadership, this is a notable milestone”

Changing Priorities

The priorities for individuals entering the medical profession are also changing with more physicians desiring to achieve a better work-life balance.  AAMC found that 47% of first year medical students reported a goal of work life balance as being significant as they make choices in their careers.  Potential employers have also experienced this change and more physician positions offer flexible hours as an inducement to recruitment. 



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