I received this message as part of an e-mail list, and I thought I'd pass it on for everyone to see. "Dr. Cohen, President of the AAMC, gave a fairly provocative keynote address, as he usually does. He stressed the two ways to improve the quality of humanistic physicians we are producing - alter the selection process for entry to medical school, and make the training process more humane (see above). He had some specific thoughts on how to improve the selection process: 1. Use MCATs and GPAs as threshold measures only, and not to give them weight beyond that. 2. Use personal characteristics as the initial screen, rather than MCAT and GPA as is currently done 3. Do more to encourage 'non-traditional' student 4. Stop using MCAT scores and GPAs of students as measures of institutional quality (there's an article in this months Academic Medicine about this) 5. Identify star students, and then look at their applications. What hints were there that they would turn out well? Can we use these when accepting other students? 6. Devise better objective tools for evaluating personal characteristics The audience applauded after each one of these... the question, of course, is what will happen when all these people return to their institutions. It is up to us to put keep the pressure on, by being on admission committees and making sure that the Deans know that we agree with these 6 points of J.J. Cohen's. "