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Medical schools seeing increased interest from prospective students

Last Updated Feb 22, 2021 at 6:38 pm MST

{CREDIT: iStock)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — More and more people are applying to medical schools, as the pandemic may have increased interest in health care careers.

The University of Calgary is seeing an increase in applications of around 20 per cent, and similar numbers are being seen at schools around Canada and the United States.

Dr. Remo Panaccione is a professor with the Cumming School of Medicine. He said another possibility for the increase might be tied to the fact you don’t have to physically go to the schools to interview for a spot.

“If you were to get multiple interviews to different schools, you would traditionally have to fly to those schools, so that’s a plane ticket and that’s a hotel stay, because of the COVID-19 pandemic schools across North America are doing their interviews virtually,” he said.

The number of applications from prospective students outside Alberta jumped by about 24 per cent when compared to last year.

Every year, 155 students graduate from medical programs, and there’s a chance the increased interest could justify larger classes.

“The decision to increase the size of the program is not left with the university but is left with our provincial government, both with the minister of higher education and with the minister of health, and at this point, we haven’t heard anything about increasing the size of our medical class,” Panaccione added.

Interviews are getting underway soon for the University of Calgary, and there are thousands of people who apply for positions in the school, with the acceptance rate sitting under 10 per cent for the competitive programs.