St. Louis area medical schools see over 20% application increase thanks to ‘Fauci effect’


Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, in Washington. Fauci is participating along with soprano Renee Fleming, the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna and the lead guitarist of Aerosmith among others in a unique three-day Vatican conference starting Thursday, May 6, 2021, on COVID-19, other global health threats and how science, solidarity and spirituality can address them. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, file)

ST. LOUIS – The “Fauci effect” has hit St. Louis area medical schools.

For fall 2021, Washington University medical school applications were up by approximately 22 percent and St. Louis University medical school applications were up by approximately 28 percent from the previous year.

There are only 100 spots in WashU’s program and 175 in SLU’s program.

Medical school applications nationally were up by 18 percent.

Due to the pandemic, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been on television daily updating the public with the latest information. This inspired students passionate about medicine to continue to pursue medical school.

Even with the uptick in applications St. Louis University Medical School dean of admissions Hiral Choksi was excited to see the renewed interest in medicine.

“Everyone has their own health to be looked after, and to have more people who are there to help serve the community is the best thing we could ask for,” Choksi told St. Louis Public Radio.

Washington University Medical School dean of admissions Valerie Ratts said students’ options were limited last year. Many would have usually taken a gap year, but with nowhere to travel to, they decided to start their medical school journey.

“None of those opportunities existed last year. With everything shut down, they decided to go ahead and move on and apply to med school,” Ratts told St. Louis Public Radio.

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