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How Increasing Medical School Enrollment Affects M.D. Hopefuls

More accredited medical schools means more students can become doctors.

Medical school enrollment has increased to accommodate the growing number of physicians needed to care for baby boomers.

Medical school enrollment has increased to accommodate the growing number of physicians needed to care for baby boomers.

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Texas has been "exporting" medical school graduates because there are not enough residency placements within the state, says Wes Norred, vice president of student and alumni affairs at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. After steadily increasing the number of incoming students, Southwestern has capped the number at 230.

Despite the challenges around residency placement, he says he would never discourage anyone from pursuing a career in medicine. But students should never think an increase in enrollment will make their chances of admittance easier.

"Having increased places in medical school does not mean that lesser qualified applicants are going to medical school, because the applicant pool still has more qualified applicants than we can all accommodate," he says.

He encourages candidates to remain competitive. "The more competitive they are the more choices they will have of medical schools to attend."

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