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FSU medical school among most selective in the U.S.

The journey to becoming a physician began earlier this month for 120 students who make up the 18th class admitted to the Florida State University College of Medicine.

Getting this far was no small feat. They were among nearly 7,200 applicants.

FSU boasts one of the most selective medical schools in the nation. In each of the past three years, the College of Medicine has appeared on the U.S. News & World Report list of “10 Medical Schools with the Lowest Acceptance Rates,” placing second for the class entering in 2015, fourth in 2016 and third in 2017.

Acceptance rates have held steady for the last four years — 2.4 percent in 2015 and 2018; and 2.6 percent in 2016 and 2017.

“Our reputation for providing an excellent medical education is making us a school of choice for candidates,” said College of Medicine Dean John P. Fogarty. “If we make an offer, they readily accept.”

Acceptance rates are calculated based on the number of applicants and the number of offers extended. In 2017, the average acceptance rate for U.S. medical schools overall was 7 percent, according to data from 120 medical schools ranked by U.S. News.

“We’re obviously pleased to see so much interest in this medical school and our unique, community-based and patient-centered approach, but we are even more excited about what a quality pool of applicants means in terms of helping us achieve our mission,” Fogarty said. “To accomplish what the Florida Legislature asked us to do when creating this school nearly 20 years ago, we need students who not only are smart but believe in the service calling of medicine.”

New FSU medical students gather for a welcome picnic in the atrium of the College of Medicine's John Thrasher Building.
New FSU medical students gather for a welcome picnic in the atrium of the College of Medicine’s John Thrasher Building.

FSU’s mission includes preparing physicians who will be responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority and underserved populations. Research shows that students who come from medically underserved communities are more likely to choose to practice in such communities.

College of Medicine pipeline programs seek to develop more quality applicants to medical school from rural and other underserved communities. Today, about one-quarter of each incoming class is made up of students who have come through the college’s outreach pipeline programs.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, FSU is the only one of more than 140 member medical schools among the Top 10 for enrollment of both black and Hispanic students. The College of Medicine was recognized with the 2017 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.

The Class of 2022 includes 69 women and 51 men. There are 15 black students and 15 Spanish, Hispanic or Latino students. Five are from a rural county in Florida and 30 are from the Panhandle.