Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on medical school applicants – The BMJ

The covid-19 pandemic has not discouraged applications to medical school. Viktorija Kaminskaite and Anna Harvey Bluemel investigate how much has changed in the application process since the start of the pandemic, and how students are adapting

Since 2010 the numbers of medical school places have risen by 31% (British Medical Association), with a corresponding increase in applications for those places. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) reported that medical applications increased by around 20% in 2020.1 Continuing disruptions to education are likely to have a lingering effect on applications in years to comeUCAS also reported a 47% increase in reapplications to medicine in 2021, suggesting that more students than in previous years were unable to secure a place during their first round of applications.2 Prospective candidates have been forced to adapt to new application processes and navigate increased uncertainty. Alongside the problems facing all potential medical candidates, the covid-19 pandemic has threatened to widen already existing inequalities in admissions, particularly the gap in recruitment of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.3

Medical work experience is often considered vital for prospective applicants to gain an understanding of a career in medicine, and to provide experiences that can form the basis of applications. When lockdowns were announced in March 2020, non-essential staff were pulled from clinical areas, cancelling planned work experience. As in many other areas, medical students

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Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on medical school applicants - The BMJ

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