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South Florida Medical Schools Say Influx of Applicants Is Result of The “Fauci Effect”

FILE - In this March 18, 2021 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Friday, May 28, 2021, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that the front page of a New York Post newspaper shows an image of Fauci under the headline, “Triggered ‘gay cancer’ epidemic in the U.S. THE MAN WHO GAVE US AIDS,” to give the false impression that a 1987 article was about him. The Post did run that headline on Oct. 6, 1987, but the actual story was about a different individual and did not mention Fauci -- nor did it include his photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

South Florida medical schools are seeing an influx of applications as a result of the pandemic. This is all part of what some are calling “The Fauci Effect.” FAU and FIU are among many universities seeing these increases.

Dr. Sarah Wood is senior associate dean for FAU’s College of Medicine. FAU’s medical school received over 6,000 applications for 66 spots.

“A lot of students or people who are just starting their careers, may have had time off. They may have lost other jobs and it may have been a time where going back to school made more sense than being in the job market.”

Wood says at times of uncertainty people seek job security.

“I think the idea of watching the crisis unfold and people in need and the frontline healthcare workers featured in the media has really inspired a new generation of future doctors. People are calling it the Fauci Effect.”

Cristina Arabatzis is director of admissions and recruitment for FIU’s College of Medicine.

“I know that many are naming it the Fauci Effect.”

She says they saw a 53 percent increase in applicants from before the pandemic.

“Any time that the economy is down or unemployment levels are high, there tends to be an increase in applications to graduate and professional programs.”

Wood at FAU says the trend should continue as long as the admissions process remains virtual.

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