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Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine sees 48% increase in applications amid coronavirus pandemic

The admissions committee will now have to narrow down the more than 6,300 applicants to fulfill the 49 vacant spots

ROANOKE, Va. – A new wave of healthcare workers is coming as more students are applying to medical schools nationwide.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine gained an extra 2,075 applications this year.

Dan Griffin, a third-year medical student, said it’s a call to action to combat this pandemic.

“Knowing that people are taking this opportunity to look at their community and identify passions of theirs that line up with a chance to help is really exciting,” Griffin said.

Associate Dean for Admissions Dr. Melanie Prusakowski agrees as she feels the pandemic sparked more students’ interest in the field.

“We had to figure out how to diagnose it, how to treat it, how to prevent it,” she said. “It really brought the idea of inquiry and research moving medicine forward to forefront.”

According to the American Medical College Application Service, applicants in October went up about 17% nationwide at medical schools.

While other factors like virtual classes and cheaper preliminary interviews may have encouraged more people to apply, Neeka Karimian said people may have an urge to leave a lasting impact once the pandemic is over.

“There is this focus on wanting to try to create a more inclusive and equitable community,” Karimian said. “And I think when you have a class that reflects the wider population, you’re better able to cater to that community.”

The admissions committee will now have to narrow down the more than 6,300 applicants to fulfill the 49 vacant spots.


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