Get into Medical School Without the MCAT

medical studentIf you’re planning on going to medical school then plan on taking organic chemistry, physics and the Medical College Admission Test, also know by its notorious acronym, the MCAT. That is, unless you apply to the Humanities and Medicine Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, located in Manhattan.

The medical school has roughly 35 openings a year for undergraduates who studied humanities or social sciences instead of the typical hard-science pre-medical courses.

Those accepted to Mount Sinai forgo organic chemistry, physics, calculus and the MCAT. Instead, these pre-med students are briefed in both physics and organic chemistry during summer training operated by Mount Sinai. To get in, they must have a certain SAT score, provide two well-written personal essays and meet certain high school and college G.P.A requirements.

A few other schools in the U.S. and Canada do not require MCAT scores, but Mount Sinai has gone the furthest in evading the usual medical school preparation.

Dr. Nathan Kase, who founded the Mount Sinai program in 1987, said he believes that a high MCAT score doesn’t necessarily make a good doctor.

“There’s no question,” he said. “The default pathway is: Well, how did they do on the MCAT? How did they do on organic chemistry? What was their grade-point average?”

“That excludes a lot of kids,” said Dr. Kase, who is now dean emeritus and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology. “But it also diminishes; it makes science into an obstacle rather than something that is an insight into the biology of human disease.”

A recent study proves Dr. Kase’s point. A peer-reviewed study, published last Thursday in Academic Medicine, found that the academic performance of a student in the Humanities and Medicine Program was equivalent to that of a traditional medical student.

But it’s unlikely that other medical schools will drop the MCAT requirement. Two other recent studies found that MCAT scores were better than college grades at determining future performance in medical school.

Via The New York Times

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