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University of Arizona medical school in Phoenix increasing class size to meet doctor shortage

The school aims to have 120 slots open by 2021.

PHOENIX — The University of Arizona Medical School in downtown Phoenix is ready to grow.

The school announced recently that it will increase the number of slots available in its program from 80 to 100 for 2020. In 2021, that number will increase again to 120.

According to Associate Dean Dr. Glen Fogerty, the state is currently on track to be 2,000 doctors short of what it needs in the year 2030. 

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By increasing the number of slots for medical students, UArizona can help combat that shortage, which is hardest felt in rural areas. 

"We don't want longer wait times. We don't want people to have to go and find physicians, to have to travel to go find treatment. So we're trying to address this need across the state."

This doesn't mean the school is lowering the bar to accept more medical students, however. Fogerty said they usually receive 6,000 applicants for their current 80 spots, so finding more candidates who meet the quality standards shouldn't be too difficult.

The school is able to make this most recent commitment to increase the number of slots thanks to $8 million appropriated by the state legislature.

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