Meharry Medical College Looks to Boost Enrollments

The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that there will be a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians in the United States by the year 2020. The shortage will be particularly severe in low-income minority communities where few doctors choose to serve.

Meharry Medical College, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, has announced plans to increase its enrollment by 40 percent over the next decade in an effort to help reduce the shortage of primary care doctors serving low-income communities. Currently, Meharry enrolls 105 first-year medical students. It hopes to increase the number of new entrants to as many as 150 over the next 10 years.

There is no shortage of students seeking a Meharry education. This year it received 5,000 applications for its 105 available positions in its entering class. But increasing enrollments necessitate the hiring of more faculty and upgrades to classrooms, laboratories, and other facilities. In short, Meharry needs to raise a great deal of money from either governmental or private sources to achieve its goal of increasing enrollments.