Med school class of 2012 above national MCAT scores, GPA averages

The University of MinnesotaâÄôs entering medical school class is better than the national average. According to statistics released by the Association of American Medical Colleges Tuesday, and based on University of Minnesota Medical School data, the class of 2012 has a higher grade point average and test scores than the national average. Those accepted at the University have an average GPA of 3.71 , compared to the national average of 3.66. Average MCAT scores at the University were also above average, at 32.8 versus 30.9 nationally. Darrell Kirch , AAMC president, said he is happy with the national trends. Enrollment and test scores are going up, not only at the University but nationwide. âÄúThe biggest take-home message in all this data is that AmericaâÄôs medical schools are continuing to increase enrollment,âÄù he said in a Tuesday teleconference. Medical school enrollment at the University has gone down slightly since 2007 , but Paul White, the associate dean of admissions for the UniversityâÄôs Medical School, attributed that to an anomaly in number of people accepting enrollment in 2007. The University wanted 170 new students, but 183 accepted offers of enrollment. âÄúWe had more people accept our offer than we anticipated,âÄù he said. The target of 170 students is up five from 2006. The target had been 165 for nearly a decade. According to the AAMC, U.S. medical schools are also becoming more diverse. Latino enrollment across the nation is up nearly 10 percent . Jessica Bedi, president of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students , said sheâÄôs glad that nonwhite student enrollment continues to rise, but thinks that there is still work to do. Her organization recruits nonwhite students in hopes that patients will become comfortable with their doctors or physicians. âÄúItâÄôs more comfortable for a Vietnamese doctor to treat a Vietnamese patient,âÄù she said. MAPS also has activities and volunteer opportunities to make good medical school applicants. With the number of applicants across the county with research or laboratory experience also increasing by about five percent in 2008, MAPS connects pre-med students with research opportunities to make a better applicant. âÄúHalf the battle is figuring out if you want to do these things,âÄù she said. âÄúItâÄôs scary how important all this stuff is.âÄù According to national statistics, nearly 70 percent of applicants have research or laboratory experience. Even though the main reason that MAPS offers laboratory experience is to make a good applicant, Bedi says students should find out if the medical field is right for them. âÄúWeâÄôre finding the success rate of applicants is higher because the fact that they want to do it shows,âÄù she said.