To describe the current status of medical education programs in the
United States, we used data from the 1997-1998 Liaison Committee on Medical
Education Annual Medical School Questionnaire, which had a 100% response rate,
and from other sources. There were 96733 full-time medical school faculty
members, a 1.2% increase from 1996-1997. The 43020 applicants for the class
entering in 1997 represents an 8.4% decrease from 1996. The number of 1997
applicants who were members of underrepresented minority groups decreased
11.1% from 1996, and the number of entering underrepresented minority group
students decreased 8.4%. More than half of medical schools reported that the
number of inpatients available for medical student education had decreased
in at least some of their clinical sites or in some disciplines during the
past 2 years. Thirty-nine medical schools (31.2%) reported having more difficulty
recruiting or retaining volunteer clinical faculty to participate in medical
student teaching in 1997 than in 1995.
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