News Roundup: More Docs in the Pipeline

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 30, 2013

In the news: Enrollment in medical schools has hit record levels. Not-for-profit small hospitals' median financial ratios were mixed in 2012, and research finds that older cancer survivors in rural areas are more likely to forgo medical care for financial reasons than their counterparts in urban areas.

A lot of interesting news items cross my desk, but don't make onto the Web site because I simply lack the time to get to them all. Today I'll play catch up by offering quick takes on a handful of recent such stories.

Med School Applicants, Enrollment Reach New Highs
For all the talk about physician job dissatisfaction, there appears to be no shortage of people who want to attend medical school. The American Association of Medical Colleges reports that a record number of students have applied to and enrolled in medical schools in 2013. This is especially good news for rural and exurban hospitals and health systems, which have been particularly hard hit by the physician shortage.

AAMC says the total number of applicants to medical school grew by 6.1% to 48,014, surpassing the previous record set in 1996 by 1,049 students. First-time applicants, another important indicator of interest in medicine, increased by 5.5% to 35,727. The number of students enrolled in their first year of medical school exceeded 20,000 for the first time (20,055), a 3% increase over 2012.

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