All-time high applicant, enrollment trend hits Brody School of Medicine

ECU’s Brody School of Medicine is following a national trend of all-time high applications and enrollment as seen in data released today by the Association of American Medical Colleges.  

In 2013, Brody had 884 applicants, which is more than the school has had in 10 years (with the exception of 2010), according to Dr. James G. Peden, Jr., associate dean for admissions at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine.

That’s more than 11 applicants for each of the 80 available seats for the entering class at Brody, which only considers applicants who are legal residents of North Carolina, Peden said.

Across the nation, the total number of applicants to medical school grew by 6.1 percent to 48,014, surpassing the previous record set in 1996. First-time applicants, another important indicator of interest in medicine, increased by 5.8 percent to 35,727. The number of students enrolled in their first year of medical school exceeded 20,000 for the first time, a 2.8 percent increase over 2012.

As a result, Brody officials share a national concern about a limited number of residency training slots in the face of a growing number of medical school graduates, Peden said.

“At a time when the nation faces a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by the end of the decade and millions are gaining access to health insurance, we are very glad that more students than ever want to become physicians. However, unless Congress lifts the 16-year-old cap on federal support for residency training, we will still face a shortfall of physicians across dozens of specialties,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. “Students are doing their part by applying to medical school in record numbers. Medical schools are doing their part by expanding enrollment. Now Congress needs to do its part and act without delay to expand residency training to ensure that everyone who needs a doctor has access to one.”

The overall growth in medical student enrollment can be attributed, in part, to the creation of new medical schools as well as existing schools’ efforts to expand their class sizes after the AAMC, in 2006, called for a 30 percent increase in enrollment to avert future doctor shortages. Brody expanded its class size from 78 to 80 students in 2012.

As in past years, the total number of men and women applying to and enrolling in the nation’s medical schools is fairly equally split, with male enrollees accounting for approximately 53 percent and female enrollees accounting for 47 percent of the 2013 class. At Brody, 41 students or 51 percent are male, and 39 students or 49 percent are female. Of those, 43 or 54 percent are Caucasian and 37 or 46 percent are non-Caucasian.

The overall quality of this year’s application pool remained strong, with nearly three-quarters of applicants reporting research experience and two-thirds reporting voluntary community service. This year’s applicants reported an average undergraduate GPA of 3.54 and a combined median MCAT score of 29. Brody was above the national average with undergraduate GPA at 3.7 and the average graduate GPA at 3.8. The average MCAT for the entering class at Brody was 29.5 (total of three numerical sections).

For more information on Brody’s student body, go to


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians.