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    Friday, January 28, 2005

    MCAT

    I think there is something wrong with a test that requires takers to study two hours a day for three months before they take it...doesn't that show how much they can memorize??

    I hear all this hooplah that the MCAT tests critical reasoning skills, supposedly the skills you need to be a doctor. Although I am also jumping through all the hoops to get into medical school (and do good on the MCAT), hearing that opinion leaves a sour taste in my throat.

    Here's what I recommend: Definitely keep the interviews. In order to be a doctor, you need to be able to relate to people, and patient-doctor interaction can only be observed through interviews.

    Make a second interview. This is a life skills interview. Pay people to fly out to each university and spend half a day with every medical applicant. Randomize it. Whatever the student is doing, the interviewer does also. During this time, the student is observed in life, and answers questions.

    Third, take a biology test. Put some organic chemistry on it. That way med students aren't idiots.

    Fourth, give a skills test. Give the students a car engine, tell them to take it apart and put it back together. Give them a problem with the engine, let them have all the resources they need, and tell them to fix it. That's what docs do on us anyways.

    Suggestions? Comments? I'll streamline this thought later.
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    1 comment:

    rob said...

    Hurray for intellectual hazing! Seriously, I don't envy anyone who has to take that test, but it provides a way to even the playing field (albeit not a perfect way). We all know people who take the "easy profs" or go to a community college to take o chem. Think of the MCAT as their comeuppance. I agree that interviews are vital to the admissions process, but see your second interview as impractical--too many applicants, spread over the entire world. How would the airfare be funded? Tuition is already horrendous. Maybe a more informal setting for the interviews could allow for insights not gleaned in a formal setting. Take a group of applicants out to lunch and watch them interact. This would be a little easier on the budget and allow for new insights into the applicants.