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  • Something doesn't seem right.

  • On one hand, we have alarming statistics about the physician shortage across the United States,

  • and on the other hand, it's incredibly difficult to become a doctor.

  • In fact, some of the more competitive medical schools in the U.S. accept less than 4 percent

  • of applicants.

  • We need more doctors, but it's so difficult to become one.

  • What gives, and what are the implications for our future doctors?

  • Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • Statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, reveal a steady

  • increase in the number of applicants to medical school each year.

  • In the 2018-2019 cycle alone, only 21,600 out of close to 53,000 applicants successfully

  • matriculated.

  • That's a success rate of only 40%, meaning most med school applicants fail to get accepted

  • to any medical school.

  • And the competition is getting stiffthe average MCAT score of matriculants in this

  • year compared to the previous year has increased by close to a full point.

  • The reason it's becoming so competitive is simply a matter of supply and demand.

  • Younger generations are particularly eager to pursue a career in medicine, as it allows

  • for a positive impact on society, emphasis on science, technology, and interpersonal

  • connections.

  • It allows for autonomy and critical thinking.

  • It pays well too.

  • Being a physician is a pretty great job.

  • The 2018 AAMC Physician Supply and Demand Report projects a total physician shortage

  • between 43,000 and 121,000 physicians by 2030.

  • That's just 11 years away.

  • And because it takes so long to train physicians, we need to get started on addressing these

  • issues sooner rather than later.

  • Population growth and aging are the primary drivers of increasing demand between 2016

  • and 2030.

  • During this period, the U.S. population is projected to grow by 11% from 324 million

  • to 359 million.

  • More specifically, the population under the age of 18 is projected to grow only 3%, while

  • the population over 65 will grow by 50%.

  • And we all know that seniors have a much higher per capita consumption of health care than

  • younger generations.

  • Given the medical school admissions statistics, the problem seems obvious - open more positions

  • in medical schools!

  • But the situation is more complex than that.

  • Since 2002, class sizes have risen by approximately 30%.

  • More students are matriculating to medical school than ever before.

  • So what gives?

  • The doctor shortage has multiple causes beyond just medical school class sizes.

  • One factor, for example, is the number of U.S. doctors who are nearing retirement age.

  • Another factor is that today's doctors are more eager to find work-life balance than

  • their predecessors.

  • Doctors from previous generations often chalk this up to millennials being entitled and

  • lazy, but I'd argue against that.

  • In fact, if you want to see me compare medicine in the old days versus modern day, including

  • which parts are harder and easier in each, let me know with a comment down below.

  • It's a topic I'm considering if there's enough interest for it.

  • Certain regions have more severe doctor shortages because physicians prefer to live in wealthy

  • metropolitan areas with an abundance of highly educated individuals like themselves.

  • But it's the low income areas, with less educated populations, that are in the greatest

  • need of physicians.

  • Additionally, most medical schools are in these metropolitan areas that already have

  • plenty of physicians.

  • And freshly trained doctors usually practice close to where they went to school or close

  • to their hometowns.

  • But these factors all pale in comparison to one.

  • Arguably the most important and severe limitation is the number of residency positions.

  • It doesn't matter how many fresh medical school grads you're minting if they aren't

  • able to complete their residency training and be board certified.

  • This scarcity of U.S. residencies has created a bottleneck in our doctor supply chain.

  • Residency positions in the United States are funded by Medicare.

  • Therefore, to increase the number of practicing doctors, you need to increase Medicare funding.

  • Unfortunately, calls to increase Medicare spending to fund new residency slots is usually

  • met with deaf ears on both sides of the aisle.

  • For that reason, funding hasn't increased since 1997.

  • It's ultimately in the hands of federal legislators.

  • However, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019 proposes adding up to 15,000 new

  • Medicare-funded residency positions over a five year time span.

  • It was introduced to the Senate earlier this year, and in my opinion, would be a big step

  • in the right direction.

  • Everyone knows it's incredibly competitive to get into medical school, particularly one

  • that is highly esteemed.

  • But I don't think it will always be to this extreme.

  • I mean, it will always be relatively competitive compared to other professions, as it's a great field.

  • Not only are you intellectually stimulated and helping patients, but you also have rock

  • solid job security, a very high salary, prestige, and professional flexibility.

  • That being said, it's far from perfect, and the public perception of medicine will

  • eventually catch up to the reality.

  • Currently, society at large has rose tinted glasses about what it means to be a physician

  • remnants of the golden age of medicine.

  • The reality is less ideal.

  • Physician burnout and suicide rates are at an all time high, as are student loans, and

  • physicians' interests are being encroached upon from multiple angles as we are notoriously

  • bad at advocating for ourselves.

  • I'm not trying to dissuade people from becoming doctors, but I do think that out of all the

  • students interested in becoming physicians, some portion of them would be happier doing

  • something else.

  • If you're unsure whether or not it's a good field for you, I've created a video

  • specifically to answer that question.

  • As a pre-med, its stressful and frustrating that getting into medical school is so competitive.

  • I get it.

  • I was once in your shoes too.

  • But as a patient or even a physician, you want the medical school application process

  • to be competitive.

  • You want the best and brightest to become doctors.

  • Look at the significant hurdle of getting into medical school as the first step in demonstrating

  • your commitment to the field.

  • Medical schools don't design the application process to be easy.

  • Medical school is tough, and they need to ensure those who are accepted can handle the

  • rigorous course work and endure the challenging clinical training.

  • It's in their best interest to identify the top candidates who will ultimately thrive

  • in medical school and become stellar physicians.

  • Several years ago, having a high GPA and MCAT was enough to open doors.

  • Since then, things have changed.

  • While these objective measurements are good predictors of your USMLE Step 1 score, they're

  • not good predictors of whether or not you'll be a good physician.

  • Being a physician is a multifaceted profession, and personal strengths in addition to academic

  • strengths are essential.

  • Are you a leader?

  • Have you demonstrated compassion?

  • Are you resilient?

  • A team player?

  • Medical schools look to these questions to evaluate you as a candidate.

  • Most pre-meds focus on a checklist mentality – I need to do some volunteering, some clinical

  • exposure, a little bit of research, check, check, check.

  • Medical school admissions committees can see right through this on your application and

  • during the interview.

  • Even with a top GPA and MCAT score, your chances are slim if you fail to demonstrate your personality.

  • Instead of a checklist mentality, I'm a strong advocate of a narrative based application.

  • Have you noticed that the average GPA and MCAT at some top medical schools aren't

  • as high as you'd expect?

  • Why isn't every matriculant getting at least a 90th percentile MCAT score?

  • There are plenty of applicants with strong numbers that lose spots to those with weaker

  • numbers.

  • And it's because of the power of a strong narrative.

  • What is your story to landing on the medical profession?

  • Why should our medical school pick you as an applicant?

  • Do you add value and diversity to the class – a unique background, interests, or skills?

  • Are you resilient and able to handle the arduous training in medical school and beyond?

  • These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself while completing your application.

  • And whatever you do, don't make your personal statement just a rehashed version of your

  • CV.

  • This is by far the most common mistake we see applicants make and it significantly reduces

  • the strength of your application.

  • “I wanted to become a doctor because of A, then I did clinical experience B and learned

  • important lesson C. Then my research in X taught me Y and now I'm going to focus on

  • becoming Z, etc.”

  • This is the checklist mentality in practice and most students don't even realize their

  • essay comes off this way until we've shown them.

  • This is one of the many things we focus on at Med School Insiders.

  • We understand the importance of a narrative based application over a checklist mentality

  • because our team of physician advisors has served on medical school and residency admissions

  • committees.

  • They know firsthand how to make an applicant stand out and how to get them accepted.

  • You can learn more about our pioneering approach and why we have the highest satisfaction rates

  • in the industry at MedSchoolInsiders.com/our-method/.

  • The first 30 customers to sign up for our services will receive $30 off their purchase

  • using the coupon code COMPETITIVE2019.

  • Link in the description below.

  • If you're applying to medical school this year, I wish you the best of luck.

  • If you have any video topic requests, let me know down in the comments below.

  • My priority is always providing you guys with value and helping make the journey to becoming

  • a doctor a little more manageable and a little more fun.

  • Make sure you're subscribed with the notification bell enabled, and I will see you guys in that

  • next one.

Something doesn't seem right.

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B1 medical medical school physician application residency competitive

Should Medical School Be This Competitive?

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/08
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