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Members of the Geisel Class of 2017 attend the 2013 White Coat Ceremony.

Geisel applications surge

Applications to Geisel's 2014 MD entering class are up 20 percent and secondary (complete) applications are up 22 percent compared to last year. While applications are rising nationally, the increase at Geisel is more than three times the national average.

Total applications to Geisel rose by nearly 1,000 to 6,016 this year, compared to 5,020 last year. Secondary (completed) applications to the Medical School increased by 946 to 5,275 this year (source: AMCAS).

"It is hard to pinpoint exactly why we saw such an increase this year, especially since we are still actively reviewing files, but certainly Geisel's profile has been becoming much more prominent," says Aileen Panitz, assistant director of admissions at Geisel. "As the work of our students, graduates, faculty, and researchers has increasingly been featured in the news, and via our social media, website, 32 Hours [digital storytelling site], Dartmouth Medicine, and other outreach, more prospective students and applicants are exposed to the work that is taking place here and are excited about the prospect of studying here and joining this very vibrant community.

"It is clear from talking to the applicants who interview here that hearing and reading the stories about our faculty and students allows them to connect with Dartmouth before setting foot on this campus. They begin to envision what they might be able to participate in if they come to Geisel," says Panitz.

Applicants cite several reasons why they have Geisel among their top choices nationally, according to Panitz.

"Prospective students seem to appreciate the very collaborative working environment and real sense of community that exists here at Geisel," she says. "They appreciate that Geisel is constantly seeking to improve and have often reviewed the 2020 strategic plan and read about the curriculum redesign. Students will comment on, write about, and clearly connect with Dean Souba's vision for the school and his views on leadership.

"With all of the changes occurring in health care today, prospective students realize that Geisel is at the forefront in terms of preparing the types of physicians that will be needed to address this country's needs and are eager to be a part of this community and learn from such innovative thinkers."

Panitz says the increased applicant pool provides the opportunity for even greater selectivity and diversity in the makeup of the 2014 entering class.

"The larger applicant pool presents a very talented and diverse range of applicants, making our job in admissions even more challenging. It certainly will make the process more selective and competitive this year," she says.

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