Applications to the Central Michigan University College of Medicine are up 53 percent from a year ago, driven largely by a spike from out-of-state students.
As of Dec. 1, 4,603 students applied to be part of the third College of Medicine class, a jump from the 3,008 last year and well above the 2,765 students who applied to be part of the inaugural class.
The 3,297 out-of-state applications make up 71 percent of the current group. The numbers are not final, according to College of Medicine Director of Admissions Chris Austin, but will be once all applications are verified by the American Medical College Application Service.
“Awareness of our program among potential medical students is up across the country, and nearly every medical school is seeing some level of increase in interest,” Austin said. “College undergraduates see the ongoing demand for health professionals and understand a career as a physician is challenging and a way to make a difference.”
Applicant interviews are underway and will continue through February. The class roster of 104 students — the full capacity for each class — will not be final until after April 30. The College of Medicine uses a holistic review process that focuses on cognitive capabilities, life experiences and personal attributes in interviews with prospective students.
Students from Michigan made up 90 percent of the first two classes, a reflection of the founding mission for the College of Medicine to provide highly trained physicians to rural and underserved areas in Michigan and the region. Austin said he cannot predict if the third class will continue the trend.
“Not only are we seeing more out-of-state applicants, but it is obvious many of them fully understand why CMU launched a medical school and are excited to be part of the mission,” Austin said. “As we have for the past two classes, we will bring in students who will thrive in our culture and want to be part of the solution to the physician shortage in Michigan.”
Nick Cozzi, a first-year medical student at CMU, is from Chicago and arrived with a master’s degree in business administration. He is one of three leaders in the recently formed Business of Medicine special interest group that regularly brings in business leaders to talk to medical students.
“After earning my undergraduate degree and now having an MBA, I want to do something of value,” Cozzi said. “I know I can make a small difference in health care.”
The CMU College of Medicine is the nation’s 137th medical school, created to address an anticipated shortage of 4,000 to 6,000 physicians in Michigan by 2020.
Students spend their first two years of study on CMU’s main campus in a state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot facility. The third and fourth years will be spent in clinical training at a number of medical facilities across central and northern Michigan, including Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan in Saginaw.