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Encouraging alternative routes to medical school

There's an interesting story today on NPR's Shots about a medical school revamping its admissions requirements to accept a greater number of students from a range of academic backgrounds.

Through the FlexMed program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, college sophomores in any major can apply for early acceptance without taking traditional science requirements or the MCAT. The Shots post offers more details about why the school began offering the program and the motivation for expanding it:

"It was designed to attract humanities majors to medicine who would bring a different perspective to education and medical practice," says Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of the school. And it worked so well, he says, that the school expanded the program on Wednesday.

By 2015, about half the incoming class will be admitted through the new FlexMed program, which will accept students of any educational background, including those in computer science and engineering.

"We're really looking for students that are innovative, that think out of the box," Charney says, "the [Mark] Zuckerbergs of the world that would go into medicine instead of [creating] Facebook."

The medical school plans to keep tabs on students admitted through the program and those that majored in pre-med as undergraduates to determine if there are any differences in career choices or accomplishments.

Previously: Stanford dean discusses changing expectations for medical students, A quick primer on getting into medical school, The rise of the medical school Multi-Mini Interview and Medical schools’ more seasoned students

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