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More Students are Applying to Medical School

Although Michigan is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, some relief may be coming as applications to medical schools in the state are on the rise.

Joel Maurer, assistant dean for admissions at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, said that applications at MSU’s medical school have been increasing over the past 10 years since the school expanded to Grand Rapids.

“This allowed us to almost double the size of the student body,” Maurer said.

For the 2010-2011 cycle, there were 6,256 applicants. For the 2019-2020 cycle, there were 8,857 applicants. Maurer said more students are making thoughtful and informed decisions about a career in medicine.

“Many of our applicants identify with communities affected by the inadequacies of our current system and see medicine as a way to influence societal injustices,” Maurer said.

Chris Austin, director of admissions at the Central Michigan University College of Medicine, said that CMU saw a slight decrease in applications in 2020; however, he noted that the applications in the 2019 cycle were at an all-time high for the school at 7,442.

“The decrease from 2019 to 2020 can most likely be attributed to the fact that our overall academic profile increased significantly for our admitted students in 2019 … which most likely caused applicants below our average numbers to self-select out of our pool,” Austin said.

Austin said increased applications would allow them to “identify the most qualified applicants who are most aligned with the mission of our medical school.”

“I can’t say for sure if we will see an increase in applications, but we will certainly receive a large number and continue to work toward addressing the Michigan physician shortage,” he said.