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Changes ahead for the MCAT

The MCAT - the exam that physicians-to-be take prior to entering medical school - is about to be overhauled. Today an Association of American Medical Colleges advisory panel released preliminary recommendations (.pdf) for a new version of the test. According to a release, the proposed changes include:

  • Updating the exam’s two natural sciences sections to reflect current science and test how examinees solve problems in a way that helps demonstrate their scientific thinking and research skills;
  • Adding a new test of the behavioral and social sciences concepts that lay the foundation for medical students’ learning about the human and social issues of medicine;
  • Revising the current verbal section to test the way examinees reason through passages in ethics and philosophy, cross-cultural studies, population health, and other subjects to communicate the need for students to read broadly in preparing for their medical education.

The reason for the recommendations? According to Ronald D. Franks, MD, vice-chair of the committee and vice president of health sciences at the University of South Alabama, "Rapid changes in all scientific fields, the impact of behavior on health, and a more diverse population require tomorrow’s doctors to be more broadly prepared."

The AAMC Board of Directors will vote on the recommendations in February 2012; if approved, the changes will be reflected in the 2015 MCAT.

Via Health Blog

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