According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the current MCAT “is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess the examinee’s problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine.” The new MCAT is being billed as “a better test for tomorrow’s doctors” by the AAMC, which expects the changes in the MCAT to motivate many more pre-medical students to take courses in psychology, sociology, or health behaviors.
A 2011 report released by the AAMC suggests that the integration of social and behavioral sciences into medical education curricula and clinical practice will improve the health of all patients. In the report, AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch said, “Being a good doctor is about more than scientific knowledge. It also requires an understanding of people. By balancing the MCAT exam’s focus on the natural sciences with a new section on the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior, the new exam will better prepare students to build strong knowledge of the socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health.” The changes to the MCAT reflect the fact that medical schools want well-rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds.
According to the US News article, “What Looming MCAT Changes Mean for Aspiring Doctors,” pre-medical students’ course selections will be affected. They will now need solid foundations in basic sciences, social sciences, behavioral sciences, and the humanities. The entire pre-med curricula will be shifting to ensure that students take the required coursework to prepare them for the new MCAT.
Contact Lee Academia's medical school admissions expert to learn more about the MCAT preparation.