Medical Schools See “Unprecedented” Rise in Applications

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, thousands of men and women enlisted in the U.S. armed forces. Now, at the tail end of the worst pandemic in over a century, many young Americans are responding in a similar way. They’re enrolling in medical school. 

Admissions officers call it “the Fauci Effect” after NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, who has become a beloved national figure.

American Association of Medical Colleges Senior Director Geoffrey Young called the increase in medical school applications “unprecedented.” The Stanford University School of Medicine has seen a 50% increase. Boston University’s School of Medicine saw a 27% jump in applications.

The impact could be felt for decades to come. It’s not just young adults turning to careers in medicine. Coronavirus’ impact on American life has also inspired young children and teens. When the next pandemic comes — and experts say another pandemic will eventually come — the United States will hopefully be better prepared. We’ll owe it to a generation of deeply knowledgeable, caring doctors and scientists.