The 125 medical schools that were accredited as of 2002 will account for 58% of the projected 2002-2016 growth in enrollment, 25% will occur in schools accredited since 2002, and 17% will come from schools that have yet to be accredited, the survey found. While some of these increases happened during the economic downturn of the past few years, 52% of the medical schools responding to the survey expressed concerns about their ability to maintain or increase enrollment due to the economic environment.
"We have to keep in mind that teaching hospitals now without any federal support at all fund 10,000 training positions. The likelihood of seeing those slots disappearing first is very real. And if there are fewer and fewer training opportunities, you might see fewer and fewer talented young people thinking about a career in medicine," Mitchell says.
AAMC has estimated that the United States faces a shortage of more than 90,000 primary care and specialty doctors by 2020 to treat a growing population that includes an aging Baby Boomer generation. In addition, if the Affordable Care Act survives a constitutional challenge, an additional 32 million Americans would be covered by health insurance.