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mcats success and being a great doctor

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gdk420, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. gdk420

    gdk420 Senior Member
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    Thought people here in this forum might find this interesting. Friend sent me the file
    FairTest:

    The National Center for Fair & Open Testing


    342 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02139 (617)864-4810 (617) 497-2224 (fax)
    Website: www.FairTest.org, e-mail: [email protected]
    Back to FairTest's Home Page
    Back to FairTest's Main University Page

    "Healthy" Medical School Admissions
    Without the MCAT

    What is the MCAT?
    The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) serves as the entry screening assessment for most U.S. medical schools. Developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and administered to over 55,000 students annually, the 6-hour exam consists of 221 multiple-choice items and two essays. Divided among four sections, scores on Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Verbal Reasoning are each reported on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 15 (highest). The Writing Sample receives a score of 1 to 6, converted to an alphabetical scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest).

    The MCAT does a poor job of predicting success in medical According to the AAMC, the MCAT is designed to "assess mastery of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics; facility with scientific problem solving and critical thinking; and writing skills." According to several independent researchers however, the skills the MCAT tests relate most closely to the first two years of medical school classroom work but have little relevance in predicting success during clinical training or actual practice as a physician. William McGaghie writes in the journal Academic Medicine: "No physician answers pages of multiple-choice questions when he or she practices clinical medicine?Grades predict grades, test scores predict test score, ratings predict ratings, but attempts to demonstrate scientific convergence among such indicators of professional competence have not been successful."1
    While the MCAT's developer claims the exam should play a central part in forecasting success in medical school, the predictive value of the test is in fact quite small. Several studies confirm that the predictive ability of the MCAT is confined to the basic science portion of the medical school curriculum, explaining only 9-16% of the variance, or difference, in grades during the first two years. MCAT scores prove to be an even weaker indicator of performance during clinical training (the third and fourth years of medical school).
    One research study showed that as a student progresses through medical school the power of the pre-admission interview ratings to predict medical school grade point average (GPA) generally increases over time while the power of MCAT scores decreases.2 Another study considered the effects of MCAT scores and "non-cognitive" measures on basic science grades and clinical competence in medical school. While only 4% of the variation in the ratings of clinical competence were related to MCAT scores, 14% could be explained by psycho-social measures.3 While no one factor contributes greatly to predicting success, test scores are clearly only weak predictors whose value decreases as students progress through training.
     
  2. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    There are a ton of studies available on the AMCAS website that say that the MCAT is a big predictor of how well you'll do in medical school. It is highly correlated with your STEP 1 scores (much more so than GPA actually). Unfortuntely, I don't have the link to the list of studies done, but hopefully someone can chime in with that list.
     
  3. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Yeah boohoo, MCAT is still one of the biggest factors admissions now and will be for the foreseeable future.
     
  4. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    the mcat isnt supposed to predict how GOOD of a doctor you will be (clinical skills and doctor-patient interactions)...

    but it is a good way to show if you can make it through the first 2 years of med and predict what kind of success you can have on step 1.

    i mean isnt this common sense?
     
  5. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    well, what if when you took the mcat you didnt study that much or didnt have the test taking skills, but when you take step I you do study a lot and you do have test taking skills??
     
  6. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Then you will do well.
     
  7. CalBeE

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    Of course that does happen, and same vice versa, but it's just that statistically, your performance in MCAT correlates with Board exam scores.
     
  8. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    :laugh:
     
  9. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    i dont know if buy that there is a correlation b/w mcat and step I. looking at some sample questions, it mostly seems like a content based exam. where am i wrong?
     
  10. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    The correlation is this.

    Both are content based exams.

    Study the MCAT = good score
    Study the USMLE = good score

    Neither of the above will make you a great physician; however, the work ethic behind studying for a standardized test will help make a person an outstanding physician.
     

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