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The new MCAT is going to RUIN medicine! (RANT)

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Jumb0, 09.21.14.

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  1. Jumb0

    Jumb0 2+ Year Member

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    :boom:RANT WARNING :boom:

    Ok, so I have been studying my ass off for 5 months studying for "THE GREAT EQUALIZER", the MCAT Exam. Being a risk-averse individual, I made the conscious decision to take the current exam instead of the new one they are instating in 2015, because I knew they were making it longer and adding Biochem + Psychology+ Sociology. I knew it would be getting much longer, and I thought this meant that the exam was to become MORE DIFFICULT...I am now learning, however, that the new MCAT2015 will be nothing more than a glorified test of reading comprehension abilities, and the only reason they are making it this long is to mask the fact that it is becoming severely watered down.

    As far as I can tell, they are reducing the HARD SCIENCE. Gone are the days when you needed to memorize tons and tons of formulas and MASTER formulaic manipulation and physical intuition. The passages will become longer, and you will most likely be given all that you need right in the passage. You will also be given more time per question by a significant amount. If that wasn't enough, they will be adding a "Pscychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior" section, which promises to amount to nothing more than a glorified verbal reasoning section. You can see where they are going with this. There is a shortage of physicians in America. The AAMC's solution to this is to make the test less quantitatively rigorous and more analytically oriented, so that "soft science" types can do well on it. It will essentially be just about how well you can read, and this really breaks my heart. The AAMC decided that the new breed of doctors don't need to be good scientists; they just need to be generally intelligent. This is why they have watered down the new MCAT.

    I know what you're thinking..."This guy is probably one of those robots who excels at sciences but sucks at verbal reasoning." Well, I can assure you it is the exact opposite of that. The Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT is unequivocally my best subject. I have been averaging 12 on full length verbal sections, and I have gotten 13's several times. It is the sciences that I struggle at. I had to study physics INTENSIVELY just to crack 10 on practice exams. BUT IT IS THIS STRUGGLE THAT WILL MAKE ME A GOOD DOCTOR. Furthermore, I was a Behavioral Neuroscience major, so the new Psychology, Sociology, "Biology" section is right up my alley. Nevertheless, I have nothing but contempt for the AAMC for turning the MCAT into this soft test of reasoning ability, even though I would probably do way better on it than the current format. If you want to be a United States medical doctor, you ought to pay your dues and suffer the quantitative gauntlet. No one should be allowed to get by on their reasoning ability alone. That is what law school is for...

    So now I have lost hope in the MCAT. I used to look at it as the GREAT EQUALIZER. Now they are turning it into a big 'ole "science-flavored" verbal reasoning test. I just hope medical schools will realize the disparity in rigor between the two formats and weigh them accordingly when deciding who to admit.

    /rant
     
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  3. Medix450

    Medix450 2+ Year Member

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    from what I remember when taking the sample section of the mcat, the new mcat questions look to be a lot harder. I got the biochem section, and many questions involved enzymatic reactions and enzyme kinetics beyond the scope of the current mcat. The passages were also much long yes, and had much more information in it. One of my questions involved the physics of the ultrasound machine, and that completely boggled my mind, so I really don't know how you can be so sure about the new mcat being "easier".
     
  4. DocKingh

    DocKingh 2+ Year Member

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    I think the questions are getting harder, but the scale is getting more lenient. I had taken Biochem before taking the mcat and I still had no idea what was happening in the experimental section. According to AAMC getting 56% meant you were in the top quarter. On the current mcat it would mean that if you got 56% of the questions right you would get a ~10 on the section!
     
  5. Promethean

    Promethean Syncretist 2+ Year Member

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    I don't know what you are talking about. I did REALLY well on the basic MCAT and only okay on the new sections. They required prior understanding of those subjects beyond what is contained in the passages.

    All the seats at all the schools fill every year. It isn't as if there are any seats that go unfilled because enough people didn't achieve some minimum MCAT score. The bottleneck that is limiting the number of physicians isn't a test, but is rather the training opportunities available. There are only so many residency seats. Lowering entrance standards wouldn't change that fact.

    EDIT: The test is changing, but the organization that administers it has many years of experience and research into testing methods. I would tend to trust their judgment regarding the composition of the test. And adcoms, who see hundreds and thousands of scores per year are quickly going to get a feel for what the scores mean.
     
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  6. j306c954

    j306c954 2+ Year Member

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    While I think having a sufficient education on psychology is an important quality for a doctor, I think the new MCAT is absolutely ridiculous. As if it wasn't already difficult enough...
     
  7. C.S. Peirce

    C.S. Peirce Abductin' 2+ Year Member

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    Ok..breathe...it's going to be OK...

    No matter how great your memorization skills become, you'll never memorize as well as Google. Physical intuition and formulaic manipulation will still be required, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

    There's something a bit confusing about this confident assertion of a future state of affairs.

    Yikes...take it easy. There's little worth to difficult tests if they're not relevant to the skills that will need to be applied. AAMC (who know more about doctoring than me) have judged that the skills assessed on the current test aren't up to date. They're trying to update the test for a job that is changing: information is more available than ever before, and medicine relies less on memorization and more on processing and applying relevant resources. If the goal were simply to build a difficult test that weeded out applicants, they might as well make all applicants run the ninja warrior course.

    I'm sure there were tons of people who thought medicine would be ruined once they started admitting women into medical schools, or stopped emphasizing amputation in surgical training, or whatever. Times change, science and technology progress, and a profession like medicine updates with them. Go with the flow...
     
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  8. Elizabethx89

    Elizabethx89 Banned Banned

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    Last edited: 09.23.14
  9. j306c954

    j306c954 2+ Year Member

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    I agree. I received my degree in neuroscience and have been a volunteer counselor for the National Suicide Prevention Line for over 3 years. I definitely know that the skills I learned and the experiences I had with callers will help me become a better physician.
     
  10. Uafl112

    Uafl112 2+ Year Member

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    what are you basing the easiness of the new MCAT off of?
     
  11. centillion

    centillion 2+ Year Member

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    lol half of y'all will never make it to being MD's

    #truthtea #calmdown
     
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  12. Elizabethx89

    Elizabethx89 Banned Banned

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    Last edited: 09.23.14
  13. Promethean

    Promethean Syncretist 2+ Year Member

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    Some of us will choose to become DOs.
     
  14. j306c954

    j306c954 2+ Year Member

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    Although I do not have to take the new MCAT, my biggest worry would be the length. The current MCAT already makes me feel like I just ran a marathon. They better give longer breaks haha.
     
  15. Ailleurs

    Ailleurs 7+ Year Member

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    So... what would you say about Step 1, which is crazier by a gargantuan amount?
     
  16. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    No, just no. Taking the prereqs gives you a decent enough science background. You learn all the science you NEED to know in med school. What they DON'T teach you is how to analyze trends of human interaction and sociological phenomena, which is MILES more useful for being a good doctor than knowing Gen Chem.

    Which will help you be a better doctor? Understanding that your patient is part of a population that is more likely to face discrimination in medical care and more likely to contract certain illnesses because of their socio-economic standing OR knowing how to calculate how much heat is transferred from a lead ball into water in a calorimeter?

    I don't want an ignorant doctor, sorry.
     
  17. Elizabethx89

    Elizabethx89 Banned Banned

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    Last edited: 09.23.14
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  18. Jumb0

    Jumb0 2+ Year Member

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    I don't want a doctor who doesn't understand the fundamental physical underpinnings that underlie human biology. Yeah, they teach you what you need to know in medical school, but unless you can prove beforehand that you have a strong proclivity for physical and chemical science, the nuanced implications of the material you are taught will be lost on you. It is not enough to know what to prescribe for a given set of symptoms. A truly great doctor has a deep understanding of the physiological mechanisms that underlie disease at the highest level of detail. This is wayyy more important than knowing pseudoscientific psycho-social theories that, if history has taught us anything, will likely be rendered obsolete bull**** within a few decades. Hard science remains. Hard, deterministic science will lead us to panacea, not sociology.

    Get real.
     
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  19. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    Then you will be a terrible doctor because you didn't take natural sciences in elementary school like I did. See what I did there? It's more useless BS that premeds somehow think is important to medicine but really, it isn't as long as you take the damn classes. Shifting the focus on the MCAT doesn't change the fact that you still have to take these classes. Even if the MCAT tested 0% physical sciences, I still would say that I have a great mastery over the basic physical sciences. Just because you didn't learn anything from your prereqs doesn't mean that applies to everyone else.

    If you think knowing physical sciences a little bit more in-depth for the MCAT is more important than understanding humans for being a doctor, then maybe reconsider your career path. A PhD path might be more aligned to your philosophy than something as human-interaction heavy as medicine.
     
  20. Jumb0

    Jumb0 2+ Year Member

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    I agree that the doctor-patient relationship is of the utmost importance, but I reject that we need to SCREEN people based on their proclivity for analyzing psycho-social materials. I think we can agree that a doctor must possess both a proclivity for science and an intuitive sense of social interaction / a general understanding of the broad socioeconomic determinants of one's quality of life. These are both critical to being a well-rounded physician. My point is that one is much easier to teach than the other. I think it's more parsimonious to accept kids who have a high aptitude for science and teach them, over the course of four years, how to be more humanistic in terms of their relationship to their patients VS. taking kids who have a high aptitude for sociology/psychology and trying to teach them the science that will make them good evidence-based clinicians.
     
  21. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]

    The process is certainly overly saturated enough to implement another filter. The new MCAT, from what I've seen, emphasizes on more biologically relevant sciences, including the physical sciences, AND tests you on the relevant social sciences. It's not just random theories. Screening people on both will, in my opinion, end up with a more select pool of people who will be capable doctors. I disagree that testing on solely the prereqs (WHEN WE ALREADY TOOK IT :O) is better than slightly shifting the focus towards the human experience, with a greater focus on biochemistry.
     
  22. mcloaf

    mcloaf 2+ Year Member

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    Lol this thread was about as level-headed and well-reasoned as I expected from the title.
     
  23. j306c954

    j306c954 2+ Year Member

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    Breaks are 45 minutes...not 10. That's even enough time for a replenishing cat nap.
     
  24. mcloaf

    mcloaf 2+ Year Member

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    You can't seriously think that? No breaks are not 45 minutes. You get 45 minutes of break time to space as you see fit between blocks of questions.
     
  25. csx

    csx 2+ Year Member

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    What was wrong with the current MCAT?..
     
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  26. justadream

    justadream 5+ Year Member

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    The new MCAT is ridiculous because it requires you to know too many subjects. It was already bad enough. Having to know psychology, statistics, sociology, and biochem on top of that.......just wow.

    I took the psych trial section and while I didn't study for it, it was by no means "easy". Plus, even if it were relatively easy, by having to study psychology, you compromise the amount of time you can spend on the other subjects.

    If you're planning on studying for the new MCAT you're going to either have to extend your studying time (to like 7 months) or spend significantly less time on each subject in a 3-4 month schedule.

    At the end of the day, however, everything will be fine because your relative performance (percentile) is all that matters. Everyone else will be as disadvantaged as you are.
     
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  27. feeling-dizzy

    feeling-dizzy

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    Yawn...when will ppl understand that MCAT like any other standardized test (PCAT, DAT, SAT, OAT...) is just a way to select a number of candidate for limited available seat of admission. It is a simple case of supply vs. demand. Because there is so few number of seats, they just need a legitimate way to eliminate surplus candidate. The fact that DO schools accept 24-25 MCAT while MD schools mostly accept > 30 MCAT; however students from both DO and MD programs still have very high graduation rate and still be good doctors regardless (don't tell me that ppl with 24 MCAT cannot finish medical school, fyi if you are URM, you can be accepted with even lower MCAT). So MCAT scores is just a good and legitimate way to "thin out" the herd, and the MCAT itself does not matter what it contains still will do its job.
     
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  28. user12

    user12 2+ Year Member

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    isn't aamc releasing an official practice exam for the 2015 test pretty soon? why don't we take a look through that and THEN decide how much easier/harder it will be. I doubt it's going to be a glorified, science flavored verbal reasoning exam.
     
  29. kenjixshadow

    kenjixshadow 2+ Year Member

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    Last edited: 05.18.15
  30. seminoma

    seminoma 2+ Year Member

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    Old MCAT has nothing to do with doctoring.. or even with being a successful med student for that matter. Compared to med school topics, soft sciences are harder to learn and much harder to master. Take it from someone whose lowest grades in med school have come from behavioral science and ethics classes.
     
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  31. kenjixshadow

    kenjixshadow 2+ Year Member

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    Last edited: 05.18.15
  32. aryias

    aryias

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    If you look at the website it talks about the sample test being the blueprint for the new MCAT. If they didn't include the new section for psychology/sociology and biochemistry, then that would be a cheat and a lie.
    Pretty sure the 230 question full length sample exam the talk about on that website will include the new section o-o.
     
  33. darklabel

    darklabel MS3 2+ Year Member

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    I didn't really read the rant because the test isn't going to be easier. In fact, you have to come in having more subjects under your belt, including Biochem. The only thing with less emphasis (which I agree with) is orgo. Honestly, there really isn't a need for Orgo 2 (or even most of 1) in medical school, but Biochem plays a huge role in first year. As for the psych stuff, I never took a psych class and I don't feel like I missed out on anything.
     
  34. Dentase

    Dentase Powered by tooth knockn Banned Account on Hold

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    Im sorry but learning sociology and psychology are not as time consuming as science courses. If your complaining about more courses, then you shouldn't go to med school where you have to take many courses, also these courses are of upmost importance when it comes to a hospital or patient setting. Man studying for 3 more courses,while two of them shouldn't be that difficult to a future med student, is so tough! Not really that tough, plus the rant about reading comprehension, well you are supposed to be intelligent enough to distinguish between long phrases of information. Just practice reading more, it shouldn't be a problem
    If you cant adapt, thats your problem, but at least have some type of ego to tackle this exam than ranting about it.

    Im glad the exam is adding more content, nowadays we see a lot of people, at least on sdn, get scores above 35, I am glad its a new playing field, and it should be more challenging this is medical school.
    Hopefully you understand where I am coming from.
     
  35. razzmatazz87

    razzmatazz87 2+ Year Member

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    I mean, on one hand, sociology and psychology are important for interacting with patients with different SES, background, etc but are somewhat intuitive. On the other, I highly doubt I will need to utilize Wolf-Kischner rxn as a physician.

    I think the length of MCAT2015 is...an obstacle. But Step 1 and Step 2 are both quite long, board exams are quite long...

    Tbh new MCAT might be a better weed out tool, bc it requires more courses and is longer, I think it slightly wins over old MCAT. But my point of contention is the requirement to memorize every which formula that existed in the realm of science--which is annoying. Testing concepts >>>> details
     
  36. seminoma

    seminoma 2+ Year Member

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    They're really not.
     
  37. razzmatazz87

    razzmatazz87 2+ Year Member

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    Going to disagree, I learned a lot about the cycles of abuse/health related behavior in both classes, and with new research on ACE scores indicating health status...it is definitely overlooked. I definitely think its intuitive, as I stated, but having a general background in psych is really impt in medicine especially with the prevalence of mood disorders today
     
  38. seminoma

    seminoma 2+ Year Member

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    Sure thing.
     
  39. SufiPoet

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    If you already took the MCAT, do you mind my asking why you give two about the new one? If I was in your position, I'd be over the moon to be done with the whole thing.


    Nope, the sections are actually very in-depth. If you're so interested, take a practice diagnostic offered by NextStep for free. Pretty tough still.

    Nope...answers aren't in the passage, and you have to still memorize many, many chem and biochem equations.

    Did you get a 15 on verbal? Since when it is easy? Also, it's nothing like CARS (new Verbal) and tests many, many social/psych concepts. Requires actual studying of concepts, where CARS does not.

    That's derogatory to social science majors. You know, wanting to be a doctor is going into public service, right? Have a bit more respect for these people, and get off your high horse.

    And since does high grades on MCAT open up more Medical Seats? Think before you type!!


    Confused post.
     
  40. Graywolf

    Graywolf 2+ Year Member

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    Just. Stop. Worrying.
     
    Last edited: 03.10.15
  41. Dentase

    Dentase Powered by tooth knockn Banned Account on Hold

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    Sure thing.
     
  42. Doug Underhill

    Doug Underhill 2+ Year Member

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    The general consensus is that the new exam is longer and harder, as evidenced by the multitude of people on SDN offering four-figure sums to anyone who would give up a seat for the old exam (you can't sell seats).
     
  43. Dentase

    Dentase Powered by tooth knockn Banned Account on Hold

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    its 2015 there is no old exam anymore lol
     

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