The number of students accepted into medical courses in the UK beat a new record amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. In total, 10,625 people were accepted to study in 2020 -- a one-third increase in comparison to 2017 when 7,750 were accepted.
The UK has been facing NHS staffing shortages throughout the pandemic, and the demand for nurses in particular has increased greatly. There has been a sharp rise in applications to study nursing too, with applications exceeding 60,000 for the first time since Nurse bursaries were cut in 2017 (since which time, nurses have had to pay full tuition fees.)
In 2020, 62,920 applicants fought for a place in nursing courses across the UK -- and acceptances onto these courses were 57 percent higher than in the past decade.
Clare Merchant, who acts as the chief executive of UCas (The UK system for university applications,) was pleased to see more students “inspired by the work of the NHS,” in an interview with The Independent. In nursing as well as medicine, there was an increase in both 18 year old and mature student applicants.
A similar trend occurred in the US, with applications to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) schools up 18 percent after the last round of applications.
Some are describing these trends as the “Fauci Effect”, citing such a visible and outspoken physician as the inspiration behind so many new medical students. Fauci, calling on aspiring physicians in his tribute to medical school classes of 2020 said, “Now more than ever we need your talent, your energy, your resolve and your character.”
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