The number of applicants to medical schools in the U.S. continues to rise, jumping by 5.8 percent in 2013, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The applicant statistics, released in October, seem to contradict warnings that provisions of the Affordable Care Act will make bright students shy away from health care careers.
The total number of applicants rose to 35,727 in 2013 from 33,772 in 2012. The number of applicants had risen 10 of the past 11 years, according to the AAMC.
In South Carolina, the number of applicants to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia has gone up steadily in recent years – 5,400 in 2009; 5,349 in 2010; 6,084 in 2011; 6,719 in 2012; 6,658 in 2013. (Those numbers include some duplicates who applied to both schools.)
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While the number of applicants to the Columbia school dropped slightly to 3,011 in 2013 from 3,222 in 2012, the number in the state increased with the opening of the USC School of Medicine Greenville. The Greenville school had 1,404 applicants for its first class in 2012 and 2,398 in 2013.
The MUSC and USCSOM-Columbia enroll about 270 medical students per year. USCSOM-Greenville boosted the number of new doctors in training in the state by about 50 per year.
Add it up, that’s more than 9,000 applicants for 320 openings in South Carolina.
Also, the Virginia-based Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine opened a campus in Spartanburg in 2011. Edward Via has received more than 4,000 applicants to its three campuses in recent years, and about 160 new doctors in training arrive on the Spartanburg campus each year.