Admissions decisions released today by the Yale School of Medicine show a higher acceptance rate for women than men, reflecting a recent trend at the school.
The medical school received 3,708 applications this year, the most in its history and 8 percent more than last year’s total of 3,464, for an overall acceptance rate of about 4.6 percent. More than 53 percent of the 172 acceptances released today were for women, though only 47 percent of applicants were female.
Richard Silverman, director of Yale School of Medicine admissions, said the male-to-female ratio was unintentional, and he expects matriculates to be evenly split between the sexes.
“We don’t have any quotas for either men or women,” he said. “We just let the chips fall where they may.”
More than 54 percent of last year’s matriculates were women, and overall acceptance numbers have remained constant over the last few years.
Nearly 150 Yale undergraduates and alumni applied to the medical school this year, Silverman said, and 19 were admitted.
Edward Miller, director of the health professions advisory program at Undergraduate Career Services, said the number of Yale students applying to medical school is growing quickly. He said more juniors have registered with UCS to apply to medical school next year than ever before, and he expects the total number of applicants to increase.
“The growth from last year is pretty striking,” Miller said.
Medical school applications have also grown nationally, with 35,735 for this admissions round compared to 34,791 the previous year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Though there were slightly more female than male applicants across the country, this year’s split is more equal than last year’s, when women applicants outnumbered men for the first time.
The number of Hispanic students admitted to the medical school grew significantly compared to last year’s and the number of blacks admitted remained steady, Silverman said.
“The number of Native American applicants unfortunately tends to be very small every year,” Silverman said.
Silverman said he would not disclose the specific racial statistics of admittances until students have confirmed they will matriculate at the School of Medicine. Underrepresented minority students at the medical school generally make up between 13 and 20 percent of the student body.
The AAMC recently recommended U.S. medical schools increase enrollment 15 percent by 2015, because the nation is in danger of a physician shortage in the next few decades. Silverman said officials at the School of Medicine have discussed the recommendation but have not made any decisions regarding increased enrollment.
Merle Waxman, director of the Yale’s Office of Women in Medicine, said the number of women admitted to the medical school represents a step forward for female scientists, especially in light of the recent national debate about the lack of women in science.
“It shows that despite the biases out there, women can clearly do science just as well as men,” she said.
Waxman said the Medical School supports female students by offering female physician mentors and guest speaker events for both women and families connected to the school. She said some childcare, while limited, is available for students and faculty members with young children.
Silverman said there have been fewer graduating seniors in the medical school’s applicant pool over the last few years, and many applicants gain experience in teaching or research before seeking admission. He said about 60 percent of students currently at the Medical School did not enroll directly after college.
“The important story is not the number of applicants, but their extraordinary range of accomplishments — their personal and academic diversity, and the diversity of their career goals,” Silverman said.