future docs

Association of American Medical Colleges

New data is out in a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges on diversity in medical school applications, enrollments, graduations, and faculty. The headlines: future doctors are still mostly white, and mostly men. But the gap has narrowed dramatically between female and male graduates. African American applications to medical school are up more than 30%, but fewer black men are applying these days.

National Residency Match Program

As if getting into medical school weren't competitive enough. Today's and tomorrow's graduates will find it increasingly harder to nab a residency position, unless Congress acts to lift the cap on residency slots it's kept in place for nearly 15 years.

Photo by: Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

As a nation, we’re getting older, and we’re getting sicker. More of us than ever are over the age of 65. And more of us are suffering from at least one chronic disease. Next in our Future Docs series, how medical schools are trying to prepare students for these new realities.

“Hello, this is the family doctor!”

Public Domain

Medical students and doctors tell me they'll never forget their first cadaver, the body they came to know intimately in their first year anatomy class. I remember Future Docs Sarah Rapoport and Peter Kaminski telling me they felt a kind of reverence for this person who gave the gift of their body. At Brown University's medical school, a handful of students work together on the same cadaver throughout the whole session. They get to know a bit about the life that cadaver led before they encounter it in the lab.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The nation spends billions of dollars every year training future doctors. But health care experts worry we’re still not training enough doctors to prevent a serious shortage.

Next in our Future Docs series, we explore the problem and some possible solutions.

Brian Drolet is a fourth year plastic surgery resident at Rhode Island Hospital. He’s originally from New Hampshire, and went to medical school at Vanderbilt University. He says he’s drawn to plastic surgery because of the variety of cases.

In coming years, we'll need 36,000, but we only have 7,000 right now, and not enough in the medical school pipeline.

Photo by: Kristin Gourlay

Sarah Rapoport is a second year student at Brown University's medical school. She's 24, a New Yorker, and already an accomplished scientist. When we last checked in with her, she was waiting for her cardiology exam results and had just started doing shifts in an emergency department. She did great. Now, she's thinking about her future.

"It's constantly a conversation in the back of my head," she says.

Photo by Brown University

There's more on our future docs series, including a brief history of medical education in the U.S.here.

Dr. Phil Gruppuso started out as a pediatrician. He says that when he entered med school in the 1970s, his path looked really clear.

"It was pretty simple for me. I was able to complete medical school knowing that I would become a licensed physician and would practice medicine in a system that was not very different than the one I'd grown up in. And that was really true until about five to 10 years ago."