Women doctors-to-be outnumber men

The USF College of Medicine’s class of 2002 has one factor that separates it from all other classes in the history of the college.

It is the first class to have a higher enrollment of female students than male.

But the recent increase in female student enrollment in medical colleges is nothing new for some national institutes.

According to a fall enrollment questionnaire in the Association of American Medical Colleges, the total number of enrolled women students in medical studies has doubled during the past 25 years.

According to the report, class size of 100 first-year medical students has, on average, 57 women and 43 men, a 14 percent increase from last year.

Steven Spector, associate dean for Student Affairs for the College of Medicine, said one of the reasons women’s enrollment has increased is because society’s attitude toward women has changed.

Across the board, he said more women are choosing to take a path in the medical career.

Other than enrollment, Spector said that this year’s class does not vary much from previous ones that have entered the college. Medical students who were admitted this year have an average GPA of 3.6 and an average MCAT score of 29.

“There is not a change from previous years in the academic quality of the students we have accepted,” Spector said. “The group this year is equally as outstanding as the previous years.”

Although female enrollment has increased, not all the new students were aware of this previous to the first day of class.

Stephanie Thompson, a first-year student in the College of Medicine, said she did not find out about the statistic until the first day of class.

“I was shocked on the first day that there were so many girls there,” Thompson said. “It made me more comfortable than I expected to be.”

But Thompson said her major was decided well before coming to USF.

“I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was in high school,” Thompson said. “I wanted to bring a humanistic approach to the people who I care for.”

Spector said the future trend of female enrollment is something that will continue to influence the medical profession.

“In the near future, I suspect that this trend will stay the same or will increase to a certain extent,” Spector said. “The medical profession tends to be cyclical in its growth. It will tend to flow up and down as more men come back to medical professions alongside this influx of women.”