More Women Than Men Enrolled In Medical School, First Time In History

ABSTRACT- A racially and ethnically diverse health care workforce remains a distant goal, the attainment of which is contingent on the inclusivity of the national medical student body. We examined the diversity of medical school applicants and enrollees over the past four decades with an eye toward assessing the progress made. Data on the gender and race or ethnic group of enrollees in all medical doctorate degree–granting U.S. medical schools from 1978 through 2019 were examined. The percentage of female enrollees doubled during this period, and women now constitute more than half the national medical student body. This upturn has been attributed largely to an increase by a factor of 12 in the enrollment of Asian women. The corresponding decrease in the percentage of male enrollees, most notably White men, was offset by an increase by a factor of approximately 5 in the enrollment of Asian men. The percentages of enrollees from Black, Hispanic, and other racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in medicine remain well below the percentages of these groups in the national Census.

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