Medical School Fast Facts
Did you know the average medical student spends an estimated 9,000 hours in lectures, clinicals, labs and direct patient care over the course of their education? That’s more hours than there are in a year! And it’s just one of the many fascinating, sometimes daunting, facts to know about medical school.
Of the 55,000 students who take the MCAT each year, who apply to about 125 medical schools in the U.S., fewer than half of these applicants are actually accepted. However, by 2019, medical schools aim to increase student enrollment by 30 percent in order to combat America’s physician shortage, which is expected to reach a 90,000 physician deficiency within the next 10 years.
Although the work is rigorous, and yes, you will lose sleep, recent residency regulations mandate that residents can no longer work more than 16 consecutive hours.
Also, dropout rates amongst medical students are incredibly low. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 18,705 students graduated from medical school in 2015 alone. Of those who do drop out, a change of heart and career goals is amongst the most highly cited reasons.
For those who make it all the way to their long coat ceremony, 78 percent will graduate with more than $100,000 in student debt. 13 percent will owe more than $250,000.
And unfortunately, despite popular belief that becoming a physician is a “get rich quick” career choice, medical experts predict that most new graduates will start out working at health maintenance organizations, earning between $60,000-$100,000 per year.
Embarking on the journey to becoming a physician is an 11-year minimum commitment that can be quite unnerving for students who are still unsure where they see themselves career-wise in the future. But if you’re certain that the doctor’s office is where you belong, it is an investment many deem well worth it.