Will doctors be extinct soon? Why do we ask this question? Let me share what I know:
1. Every year, the Department of Surgery PGH gets about 150 applications for our 15 slots for residency. Last year, we got 60. This year, we had 23. The trend is going down fast. We might not have enough next year.
2. Every year, 15,000 new graduates take the National Medical Admissions Test (NMAT). UP only allows the 90th percentile to apply so that amounts to about 1500 eligibles. This year, only 2000+ are taking the NMAT. Do the math.
3. Last year, a number of Intarmed students decided to take up nursing instead of proceeding with the seven year medical curriculum.
What do all of these mean? It means the medical professions is losing its attractiveness. It means there is a 'force' greater than the conventional pull of medicine which is depleting its usual source of new recruits.
It means something must be done or else we will not have enough MD manpower to run this country by 2010.