Background Graduate-entry medicine is a recent development in the UK, intended to expand and broaden access to medical training. After eight years, it is time to evaluate its success in recruitment. Objectives This study aimed to compare the applications and admissions profiles of graduate-entry programmes in the UK to traditional 5 and 6-year courses. Methods Aggregate data on applications and admissions were obtained from the Universities and Colleges Admission Service covering 2003 to 2009. Data were extracted, grouped as appropriate and analysed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Results Graduate-entry attracts 10,000 applications a year. Women form the majority of applicants and admissions to graduate-entry and traditional medicine programmes. Graduate-entry age profile is older, typically 20's or 30's compared to 18 or 19 years in traditional programmes. Graduate-entry applications and admissions were higher from white and black UK ethnic communities than traditional programmes, and lower from southern and Chinese Asian groups. Graduate-entry has few applications or admissions from Scotland or Northern Ireland. Secondary educational achievement is poorer amongst graduate-entry applicants and admissions than traditional programmes. Conclusions Graduate-entry has succeeded in recruiting substantial additional numbers of older applicants to medicine, in which white and black groups are better represented and Asian groups more poorly represented than in traditional undergraduate programmes.