Context The educational environment affects the outcomes of medical education,
including the characteristics and distribution of medical school graduates.
Objective To report the status of variables related to medical education that
represent areas that recently have been in flux or have potential impact on
health care delivery.
Design, Setting, and Participants Descriptive survey study comparing selected results of the Liaison Committee
on Medical Education Annual Medical School Questionnaire between 2004-2005
and 1994-1995. The questionnaire was sent to the deans of all 125 LCME-accredited
medical schools. Response rate was 100% in both years.
Main Outcome Measures Overall trends between 1994-1995 and 2004-2005 in the size and composition
of the medical school faculty, the numbers of medical school applicants and
students, requirements for passage of the US Medical Licensing Examination,
medical student work hours, the use of computers in the educational program,
the geographic pipeline from entry to medical school to entry to graduate
medical education, and the educational background of medical school deans.
Results The number of full-time faculty members increased from 90 016 in
1994-1995 to 119 025 in 2004-2005 (a 32% increase) while the number of
medical students remained constant at about 67 000. In 2004-2005, 11%
of medical school deans held MD and PhD degrees, 6% held MD and MBA degrees,
4% held MD and MPH degrees, and 2% held an MD and another degree (such as
JD). In 2004-2005, 68% of all first-year medical students were residents of
the state in which the medical school is located and a mean of 43% of 2005
graduates remained in the same state as the medical school for graduate medical
education; results were similar in 1995. In 2004-2005, 58 schools (46%) required
students to have their own computers and 35 (28%) to have their own personal
digital assistants. In 2004-2005, night call was less common in the family
medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry clerkships compared
Conclusions Although most students remain in their home state for medical school,
most students leave the medical school state for residency. Factors external
to the medical school, such as funding mechanisms and regulations from the
public and private sectors, may be having an impact on faculty size and composition,
and on the geographic pipeline of students into medical school and residency