UW-Madison medical school applications increase 26 percent amid pandemic
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -More young people are inspired to go to medical school amid the pandemic.
UW-Madison admissions representatives say applications are up a record-breaking 26 percent.
An incoming medical student says COVID exemplified existing issues in the healthcare field, and she’s ready to combat them.
“Becoming a doctor is a really good way to be a catalyst for change within the black community,” Oyinda Fawole, incoming medical student said.
A white coat and a stethoscope --it’s the end goal for Fawole. She found inspiration studying in UW-Madison’s pre-health program for underrepresented students in medicine.
“It’s a really good way to of course help people and take care of people, but also to inspire and motivate them and just to teach them,” Fawole said.
Fawole is striving to break barriers and eliminate racial health disparities. It’s a problem that was magnified during the pandemic.
“The whole institution of medicine hasn’t really done a good job of instilling trust and creating a reason for underrepresented people to trust in them,” she said. “It’s inspiring me to definitely want to continue to pursue medicine.”
“We think that there’s a whole group of young Americans who really want to make a difference,” Mary McSweeney, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health Admissions assistant dean said.
Normally, UW-Madison gets about 5,000 med school applications. This year they received about 6,400.
McSweeney said more students have time to fill out lengthy applications and the younger generation is finding new inspiration driven by healthcare workers battling covid.
“I think we can be really proud that we have a generation that wants to solve problems, medical problems, public health problems, healthcare disparities,” she said. “It’s a shame we don’t have more spots nationally so that we could accommodate all of these students.”
Fawole graduated from UW-Madison in May and was accepted to UW-Madison’s school of medicine. She’s still choosing where her medical journey will begin.
“I’ve been aspiring towards this for the past like six years so the fact that it’s a reality, I feel like I’m in a dream, but I’m ready for it,” she said.
Only 40 percent of applicants nationally will be accepted to medical school. Experts say this is because there’s an abundance of resources poured into each student throughout the learning course and the resources are limited.
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