UC Berkeley has one of the highest pre-med populations, and because of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, pre-med students are starting to reconsider where and whether they might apply for medical school.
In a recent survey, Kaplan found that 21% of more than 300 surveyed pre-med students said the decision to overturn Roe “definitely will” affect where they apply to medical school. In addition, 26% said that it “probably will,” 27% said it “may” have an impact, 17% said it “probably will not” and 9% said it “will definitely not.” The overall consensus is that almost half of pre-med students in this survey said it will affect their decision.
“What we find in the survey is that there’s this important wild card that’s part of their decision-making process with many of these students signaling that they wouldn’t apply to medical schools in states within laws contrary to their own beliefs on abortion,” said Petros Minasi, senior director of pre-health programs at Kaplan.
Minasi mentioned that there has been an increase in activism among doctors who want to share their opinions on topics ranging from a global scale to issues that impact them personally.
Priyanka Ray — a campus sophomore and consultant with Phalanx, a pre-medical student-run consulting group — described how she’s also noticed that ever since the overturning of Roe, students are more inspired to become medical physicians.
“More people are interested and participating in activism for reproductive health and are looking into research to provide facts and data to promote safe health practices,” Ray said in an email.
Ray added that personally, she believes abortion is a procedure that is necessary for many people to undergo for the sake of preserving their current and long-term health.
She further discussed how she would only want to attend a medical school that teaches her how to perform an abortion.
“Abortion is not banned outright, so it should still be taught, and I will not apply to schools that have an incomplete curriculum,” Ray said in an email. “Some people may not even apply to medical school at all because they are extremely unhappy with the elective decisions made by some schools, but I believe this demographic is small.”
Minasi also noted some possible consequences of a decrease in medical school students, one being the impact that it would have on healthcare which would exacerbate the doctor shortage.
For now, it’s too early to tell what pre-med students will do after the overturning of this Supreme Court case.
“I think over time, we will start to see what that means as far as how it may impact medical school enrollment, how it may impact recruitment and how it will impact the number of students that are applying,” Minasi said.