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How important is the MCAT? Should I take it?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by sarephina, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. sarephina

    sarephina ~:]
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    Hi,

    I'm in an accelerated medical program (BS/MD) that doesn't require the MCAT.

    However, I have read somewhere that we should take it anyway because some residencies use it to judge candidates. How much weight do they put in the MCAT? Will I be at a disadvantage for not having a MCAT score? Should I seriously consider taking it?

    Thanks for reading. Any advice will be appreciated.
     
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  3. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    NO.. If you are already accepted into an MD program no way would I waste my time taking that silly exam. Just become a doctor and do well on your USMLEs along the way.

    Residency programs wont look or care about your MCAT scores or lack of them.
     
  4. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    I was never asked about my MCAT score during residency interviews.
     
  5. sarephina

    sarephina ~:]
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    Thank you, usnavdoc and southerndoc!

    From the practice MCATs I've seen, it seems as *coughpointlesscough* as the SAT. :)

    ~sare
     
  6. ThinkFast007

    ThinkFast007 Senior Member
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    Listen..if you can get out of that dumb test, do it! I'm going into Anesthesiology (which is one of the more 'competitive' residencies) and NO one asked what my MCAT score was. NEVER! I know you are only in undergrad right now...I take it you are at a US medical school (which is also VERY important if you want to get into something competitive later on).

    Yes, just kick butt on USMLE. And another thing. My MCAT score SUCKED. I mean it was reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaly friggin bad. Ppl say that if you do crappy on MCAT you will fail the USMLE. NOT TRUE! I did OK on USMLE (in fact better on my Step 2)...
     
  7. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Anesthesiology is competitive this year?

    Two of my classmates missed radiology and scrambled into anesthesiology. Maybe it's only certain programs that aren't competitive?
     
  8. VentdependenT

    VentdependenT You didnt build thaT
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    Avoid that friggen awful headache like the black pleague.

    You're set.
     
  9. ericdopt

    ericdopt Member
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    Agree with all the above...avoid the test if you can. What a waste of time and money. I'm in a very competitive residency, and again, NO ONE asked me about my score.
     
  10. BKN

    BKN Senior Member
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    I'm a program director, I haven't been on the med school admission committee in about 13 years. I don't even know what the present scoring system means so I ignore the scores if they appear in the Dean's letter. :laugh:

    On the other hand, MLEs very important.

    Sadly, I remember my exact scores on the MCAT 34 years later. :rolleyes:
     
  11. sarephina

    sarephina ~:]
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    Thank you, everybody! I'm glad I found this forum. ^_^

    Yes ThinkFast007, I am at a US med school. :D
    I am in the middle of my 3rd year in a 7 year program that combines college and med school. http://med.cuny.edu
    In our early years we receive a heavy dose of education about public health / community-oriented primary care. I still feel a little lost career-wise, though. lol

    MLE = medical licensing exam, right? I did very well on a biochemistry miniboard (my first NBME exam)... does that indicate anything?
    I mean, should I keep freaking out about the exams? Do they get harder and harder?

    hehe I'm trying to forget my SAT and ACT scores.
     
  12. BKN

    BKN Senior Member
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    I trained one of your predecessors from that program. One of my best residents ever. :) :)
     
  13. BKN

    BKN Senior Member
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    And yes, the exams do get harder and harder. But don't freak out about them, med school entrance is the real hurdle. After that it's just doing the work.
     
  14. sarephina

    sarephina ~:]
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    Neat!! :D
    What residency?
    ==
    hi-ho, hi-ho...
     
  15. Bobblehead

    Bobblehead Senior Member
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    The MCAT will be useful later on if you choose to get something along the lines of a public health degree (MS or MPH) because you usually substitute that score for a GRE. Also if you choose to apply elsewhere you'll need the MCAT score.
     
  16. sarephina

    sarephina ~:]
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    Hi Bobblehead,

    Thanks. I've heard from some Sophie grads who got public health degrees, and they didn't bring up the MCATs, but maybe they just didn't think it was important. I guess need to meet with my advisor. Too bad it's finals time... lol That's why I posted here instead (and I'm impressed by the number of responses!).

    What do you mean by applying "elsewhere?"
     
  17. Bobblehead

    Bobblehead Senior Member
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    Most public health programs will need some type of standardized test score. It's usually the GRE although for people that come from other professions with some type of doctoral level degree they will accept that test score as well (LSAT, MCAT, etc.).

    If you choose to not take your seat through your 7 year program but instead go elsewhere you'll need the MCAT to apply through normal channels. You could look at the 7 year program as a nice insurance policy. You could apply (assuming your program permits this) and if you get in somewhere decide whether to stay at your school or go elsewhere. And you can use the knowledge that you have at the very least a seat at your institution as a nice safety blanket.
     
  18. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    I dont know why you would take the MCAT just because you may possibly in the future want another degree. If that time comes take the GRE. Much less time consuming to study for.

    In terms of going to a different med school than what you have already been accepted to. Why on earth would someone do that. She is in the 3rd year of a 7 year program. Id say she is somewhat committed.
     
  19. abcyxz

    abcyxz Member
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    saw this post and had to chime in - im a 4th yr applying to residency. i too was in an accelerated program. if anything, the programs are excited to hear i never took the mcat. why in the world would they even care about a test that evaluates your reading comprehension?? think about it....

    lol, thanks for the chuckle.
     
  20. Ergo

    Ergo Integrated Resident
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    In my 8 plastics interviews none has asked me about the MCAT, its completely irrelevant.

    For hyper-competitive residencies (ie Plastics, Derm, Rads, ENT, Ortho) board score (>230) gets you in the gate, letters from people the PD/chairman know confirm that youre normal/desirable/liked by residents, and research sparks their interest further. AOA is nice, not a requirement at every program, but maybe %15 of them.
     
  21. Ergo

    Ergo Integrated Resident
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    In my 8 plastics interviews none has asked me about the MCAT, its completely irrelevant.

    In order of importance:
    For hyper-competitive residencies (ie Plastics, Derm, Rads, ENT, Ortho) board score (>230) gets you in the gate, letters from people the PD/chairman know confirm that youre normal/desirable/liked by residents, and research sparks their interest further. AOA is nice, not a requirement at every program, but maybe %15 of them.
     

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