Recent data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, reveals that applicants to medical school, accepted students and new enrollments have all reached record numbers for the 2021-22 academic year. This led to the largest, most diverse first-year class ever, with historical increases among underrepresented minorities.
According to the data, applicants who self-identified as Black or African American rose by 21% over the previous year, followed by increases of 8.3% among Asian students and 7.1% among those of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.
Mirroring this national trend, VCU School of Medicine welcomed its most diverse class this fall, including six students named Dean’s Equity Scholars. The scholarship, which helps eliminate barriers to access for students of all backgrounds, reflects the school’s ongoing commitment to increasing diversity on campus and in the workforce. Measures of diversity include the number of students who identify as underrepresented in medicine; those representing diversity in socioeconomic status, religion, gender or geography; first-generation college students and out-of-state residents from throughout the U.S.
“Like communities across the nation, we’ve grappled with a global pandemic that has underscored health disparities and social inequities,” said David Chelmow, M.D., interim dean of the School of Medicine. “Today, the importance of redoubling our efforts to address disparities could not be clearer. It’s extremely valuable to all our students — and to their future patients — to have a student body that is diverse in all these areas.”