Saturday, January 16, 2010

The "Right Stuff"

Great article from the New York Times this week about re-thinking the seemingly all-important MCAT. Like every other pre-med, I suffered through months of flash cards, prep books, and practice exams with the fear that a bad score would tank my application.

Given the wide range of pre-med backgrounds, some sort of objective measure is necessary, so I don't believe the test will be going away in the foreseeable future. That said, I know people with incredibly high MCAT scores who I wouldn't want anywhere near me in a white coat

Testing how people respond to stress and how conscientious they are to others in addition to their mastery of organic chemistry seems like a promising direction. I have no doubt that, if this kind of test is adopted, a whole industry based on "coaching" agreeableness and openness will crop up. But it does speak to the recognition that there's more to medicine than the memorization of different SN2 reactions.

1 comment:

Brittney said...

I agree that there should be a different method of testing a pre med student's knowledge and personality before entering med school, but I'd like to point out at least med students are tested on their scientific knowledge. To get into vet school you have to take the GRE, which doesn't even give you one question about science. I did poorly on the GRE (okay, not poorly but not as good as I wanted too) because it tested me on things unrelated to what I was studying as an undergrad. Thankfully not a lot of weight is put on the GRE score.