Women Take Medical School Lead

There are now more women in medical school than men according to the Association of Medical Colleges. This is no doubt a positive development as we move head first into an era when attention to behaviors and mental health are going to be front and center. ‘In our practice, we have 6 male partners and 3 female, and the ability of the women to get at the true cause of patient problems is so much better than ours,’ says Peter Rarnster, MD, a pediatrician. Women currently represent 50.7% of the 21,000 medical school enrollees, a small but meaningful lead. “I think it’s great that women are now attending medical school in record numbers. This means that women have access to fulfilling careers and patients are receiving care from a more diverse group of doctors,” says Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA, a youth and LGBTQ+ therapist. The trend is a positive given recent trends in the medical field. Medical school applications have been in decline worldwide, according to a New York Post piece, as many students are opting to pursue more lucrative careers in STEM-related fields. Millennials have halted careers in nursing and the Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of  100,000 US doctors by the year 2030. Several factors will contribute to this – population growth, an increase in the number of aging Americans and the retirement of practicing doctors. But renewed interest in the medical profession among women is a positive development. The profession itself is changing – with more roles outside of buildings and clinics, more roles to treat people in their homes and to help understand, monitor, and shape their behaviors. Given the growth in physician-home health businesses focused on behavioral health, it’s not a stretch to say that the opportunities for women to re-invent the field are very clear, and perhaps by 2025, the mix of women in medical school will be 60%.

 

 

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