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Aug 20, 2004
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medicine1 said:
I found this paragraph to be best fitting of Osteopathic Medical schools and their students.

Students of more humble origins have greater potential for improvement if given better opportunity. Older students in particular seem to be able to take advantage of the opportunities in medical school and choose careers involving direct patient care in much greater percentages. The changes seen with age also tell us what we must do to improve all US physicians, we must require those who are academically prepared to be maturationally prepared. We need to raise the bar in people skills as high as we have in academic skills and not cave in and admit physicians who cannot meet the tests in both categories.


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docbill said:
We need to raise the bar in people skills as high as we have in academic skills and not cave in and admit physicians who cannot meet the tests in both categories.[/I]
AMEN to that!!

Just because it's a harder thing to assess in the application/interview process, a lot of socially ******ed individuals end up in medical school where they have absolutely no place being.

How about a section on the MCAT with patient vignettes and what would you do or what would you say next type questions to test social and emotional maturity?


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I'm unpersuaded by this study. I may have missed a part, but he doesn't seem to pay much attention to correlation between the MCAT and USMLE/COMLEX, which is not insignificant. Since people with lower board scores are more likely to go into FP, it's reasonable to expect that those with lower MCAT scores are, by extension, likely to do the same.

He also mentions an increase of a point in the MCAT biological sciences which he suggests is indicative of gaming the system. Again, I may have missed something, but the MCAT is curved; an increase in matriculant scores just indicates an increased selectivity, not necessarily changes in the applicant pool.

While there may very well be a relationship between students who underperform on the MCAT relative to other matriculants and the choice of FP, he doesn't make a persuasive argument that there's a cause and effect relationship. It would be far more interesting to see what specialty students would choose *before* taking the MCAT and correlate that with actual scores. Below-average test performance tends to self-select for primary care for all the obvious reasons.


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Dec 26, 2004
Thank you for your insight and curiosity. I would definitely like to see more studies on this topic. I think personal preference, personality, and overall self-motivation towards a specific specialty are important factors.