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I ask this for no more than as an intellectual query: if a 22-year-old science major can score a 42, what score would we expect of a 39 year-old doctor with ten years of practice in Internal Medicine?
 

wasvsdal

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I hope this thread gets closed. Go on youtube and find some videos to entertain us, rather than asking questions like this.

What if someone said 45. Then what?
Now what if someone said 25. How does that change anything?
 

JohnWetzel

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Probably very low considering that the knowledge tested on the MCAT is only very indirectly clinically applicable.
This is the opposite of the truth, but medical doctors in the United States operate on a sub-optimal mental plane because undergraduate general sciences education is crap as a premedical curriculum even if you graduated from MIT.

To answer the original question, it depends on the specialty. A good radiologist ought to be able to score at least 11s or 12s in both science sections. If they can't score that high on the MCAT they don't understand their instrumentation.
 

DrBowtie

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This is the opposite of the truth, but medical doctors in the United States operate on a sub-optimal mental plane because undergraduate general sciences education is crap as a premedical curriculum even if you graduated from MIT.

To answer the original question, it depends on the specialty. A good radiologist ought to be able to score at least 11s or 12s in both science sections. If they can't score that high on the MCAT they don't understand their instrumentation.
I'm pretty sure very few practicing doctors remember hoffman degradations and all of the melting point rules in chemistry.
 

NickNaylor

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This is the opposite of the truth, but medical doctors in the United States operate on a sub-optimal mental plane because undergraduate general sciences education is crap as a premedical curriculum even if you graduated from MIT.

To answer the original question, it depends on the specialty. A good radiologist ought to be able to score at least 11s or 12s in both science sections. If they can't score that high on the MCAT they don't understand their instrumentation.
...what? Have you seen a MCAT? The only thing that would be remotely useful to a clinician is the limited and basic physiology that's covered. What do you mean don't understand their instrumentation?

:confused:
 

Geekchick921

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Considering the doctors I work with that have ever seen me studying in the breakroom or anything and looked over my shoulder say things like, "To be honest with you, I don't remember any of this ****," I'm going to significantly worse than the college student who's just taken all the pre-req courses.
 
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This is the opposite of the truth, but medical doctors in the United States operate on a sub-optimal mental plane because undergraduate general sciences education is crap as a premedical curriculum even if you graduated from MIT.

To answer the original question, it depends on the specialty. A good radiologist ought to be able to score at least 11s or 12s in both science sections. If they can't score that high on the MCAT they don't understand their instrumentation.


TROLOLOLOLOLOLl!!!! Doobeedee!!! Dobeedaa!!....
 
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My roomate's father was a doctor in South Africa. When he came to the U.S. to practice medicine, he had to retake the MCAT. He studied very heavily and scored a 42.
 
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Probably very low considering that the knowledge tested on the MCAT is only very indirectly clinically applicable.
This. There are very few who would do well on the MCAT after they have been practicing for a few years. Most residents would do poorly on the test if they took it outright (I'm assuming the OP is talking about taking the exam without studying).

My roomate's father was a doctor in South Africa. When he came to the U.S. to practice medicine, he had to retake the MCAT. He studied very heavily and scored a 42.
Hmmm, are you sure about this? This sounds like one of those oddity stories. It was my understanding that FMG's could come to the US, but in order to practice would have to go through residency again, which meant they would need to take Step 1 and 2. I have never heard of an FMG coming to the US and taking the MCAT, unless they needed to go through medical school again in the US. But, I think this last scenario is very unlikely unless they needed to retake UG coursework/degree, and in that case it's not much different than anyone else taking the MCAT. I don't want to purport that I am an expert on this, because I'm not, I'm just saying that this situation sounds strange.
 
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Sheesh... some really nervous test takers here. My question was more in the vein of what subject matter on the test might still be in the brain a seasoned doctor. Back to the Allopathic forums...
 

JohnWetzel

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What I meant is that the scientific understanding of 99% of entering medical students is not sophisticated enough to integrate with their clinical training so it does not seem relevant. I have taught many people who are doctors today working very closely. I know everybody's secrets.
 

Pons Asinorum

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What I meant is that the scientific understanding of 99% of entering medical students is not sophisticated enough to integrate with their clinical training so it does not seem relevant. I have taught many people who are doctors today working very closely. I know everybody's secrets.
I was kind of digging your post in the "MCAT without Orgo II" thread, but you've lost me in this one. A practicing radiologist or rad onc, as other posters have said, would fail the dog **** out of the PS section. There is absolutely no reason for that physician to remember the equations that describe oscillating motion or concentration cells to understand the equipment they work on. Your comment is silly at best. It has nothing whatsoever to do with "integrating" their basic science and clinical knowledge. It's about forgetting crap you don't need, clearing space on your hard drive, and filling it right back up with stuff you actually need.
 

JohnWetzel

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I was kind of digging your post in the "MCAT without Orgo II" thread, but you've lost me in this one. A practicing radiologist or rad onc, as other posters have said, would fail the dog **** out of the PS section. There is absolutely no reason for that physician to remember the equations that describe oscillating motion or concentration cells to understand the equipment they work on. Your comment is silly at best. It has nothing whatsoever to do with "integrating" their basic science and clinical knowledge. It's about forgetting crap you don't need, clearing space on your hard drive, and filling it right back up with stuff you actually need.
If you don't understand concentration cells, I am sorry you are faking your understanding of biology. I really don't get how you folks look at this stuff. It's like everybody thinks science is what you read in a book and take tests about. Achievement is a long spoon you lick off of and show everybody how shiny it is.
 

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I am a 2nd year med student and for ****s and gigs I took the biology and verbal reasoning sections over again (Not physical science).

I scored a 14 on the VR and a 13 on biology (I think I got lucky on some of the Ochem). Both were well above what I scored on my real MCAT
 

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I am a 2nd year med student and for ****s and gigs I took the biology and verbal reasoning sections over again (Not physical science).

I scored a 14 on the VR and a 13 on biology (I think I got lucky on some of the Ochem). Both were well above what I scored on my real MCAT
a little off topic but your timeline of applying to medical school is epic. thoroughly enjoyed it.
 
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Surgeon I shadowed laughed about how little organic chemistry and other undergraduate "required" courses came into play with his studies and career so chances are it never really came up, so he would likely be rather unprepared.

Then again, medical school involves a good amount of memorization of some key biochemical processes, so I would expect they would do rather well on the biology section.

Chemistry, probably not so much, unless they were a chemistry major and had practice applying the basics of chemistry. Chemistry is rather basic (but requires a good amount of practice before you pick up on it)

IE: Electrons attacking positive nuclei.

As I am sure a lot of you who are older caught on (I know I did), in organic chemistry, when you are trying to find the silver lining behind all these complicated mechanisms and reactions in organic chemistry, you didn't take a big picture look at it, but a few years later, with a couple of other courses that used organic chemistry in a very fundamental way, it sort of "hit you in the head". Therefor, those doctors who still understand the very basic principles regarding chemistry and spent enough time practicing it, so much so that it is still salient, would probably do well on the chemistry section.

Physics is likely where a lot of doctors would have an issue. Some doctors would probably have a nice understanding of a few key topics but it is too broad to know it all without studying the long list of topics from kinetics to fluid dynamics.

A doctor who hasn't studied would probably score in the 30's+, depending on how old they are.

Verbal is a tough one as it comes with practice.


I would like to think most practicing physicians are inherently smart enough and given the fact that they should have already been through this process they would score at or above the mean, with a little bit of practice and the determination to actually do it.
 

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This is a strange and disturbing discussion, future doctors talking about how the scientific understanding of living systems is not important for the practice of medicine. Is that true? Direct application in clinical practice is not the test. A scientific knowledge base is what it is. It informs everything you see in a direct, immediate way. You either understand how life processes function or you don't, and if you don't, later as a doctor, salary and standing won't mean you are not a phony.
 

tkim

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This is a strange and disturbing discussion, future doctors talking about how the scientific understanding of living systems is not important for the practice of medicine. Is that true? Direct application in clinical practice is not the test. A scientific knowledge base is what it is. It informs everything you see in a direct, immediate way. You either understand how life processes function or you don't, and if you don't, later as a doctor, salary and standing won't mean you are not a phony.
Sure, Wikipremed, whatever you say.
 

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This is a strange and disturbing discussion, future doctors talking about how the scientific understanding of living systems is not important for the practice of medicine. Is that true? Direct application in clinical practice is not the test. A scientific knowledge base is what it is. It informs everything you see in a direct, immediate way. You either understand how life processes function or you don't, and if you don't, later as a doctor, salary and standing won't mean you are not a phony.
I can think of quite a few analogies to this to prove your assertion false. Besides the fact that it's silly on it's face. I don't hear you preaching the same tune regarding the math that is the true backbone of this science you're singing about, but that's another story for another day. The analogy that pops up first is grammar. You typed up a reply with relatively well-constructed, and grammatically correct, sentences. But if I asked you to completely diagram those sentences, you would fall flat on your face. There's quite a difference between having a working understanding of the underpinnings of how something works, an intuition formed by prior learning, and trying to maintain all of that fundamental information in an instant recall fashion. I hope to god my cardiologist has spend the last few years reviewing the science germane to diagnosing and treating heart disease, and not brushing up on proper utilization of the lensmaker's equation. You're making this a black-and-white discussion, and that's ridiculous. You talk about the "scientific understanding of living systems" when there is much tested on the MCAT that is simply not important in the clinical practice of medicine. It's not supposed to be; it's an aptitude test, not a skills certification.
 

JohnWetzel

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Sure, Wikipremed, whatever you say.
That's right. Instead of the tried and true 'get the advantage you deserve!' I'm pissing in the punch bowl at SDN. This is my new selling technique. This discussion is my least favorite. It brings out the ******* in me. Back in the 90's when it was course after course after course of small groups of premeds at MCAT Academy in Atlanta, it would never fail at the beginning of the course that a premed would joke about how a doctor will never use the equations of kinematics. It's the beginning of the course. I want them to come back. Pay me. I look on with bemused detachment and say something about how no change happens in this universe that doesn't involve motion.

What is my standing to make these points? Well after nearly twenty years working on MCAT (the last ten years getting up at 3:30 AM before working in biotech) the quality of my scientific awareness is something I didn't expect in 1999, when I folded MCAT Academy and started to build WikiPremed. At the end of those small group years I could teach physics, chemistry, organic and biology in an integrated way from my memory without notes. Wow! That was where I was, and I didn't understand very deeply I think. These days I can show you a complete path from the abiotic precursors in the hydrothermal mound four billion years ago to an RNA field with a gene frequency. I think I am the only one who can do this. In terms of pure theory, the scientific questions I don't understand have concentrated within a few areas and my mind works and works. Something generative is happening with me. I was one of those 3 standard deviation kids. Turned down Harvard a long time ago. I love learning and you might say I have been the greatest beneficiary of my work. Inventions of mine have given rise to three start-ups the past six months. They keep coming. It's getting kind of crazy, and I think I have a basis for a new scientific phenomenology involving Euler's equation and statistical mechanics. I might be unable to prevent myself from losing my mind because I am feeling a great deal of ecstatic mental anguish at the ineluctability of these problems, but for the purpose of this discussion, I hope it suffices to say that the quality of my scientific understanding is now pretty good so I know what I am talking about.

Premedical students actually are smart, but this way of thinking, in which everything is weighed for applicability, before you learn it, might be useful triage when faced with a great deal of factual trivia, but MCAT science is general science. It's the base of the pyramid. Everything on the MCAT is basic and fundamental. Things have a way of coming back again and again. The AAMC knows what it is doing with this test.
 
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JohnWetzel

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I don't hear you preaching the same tune regarding the math that is the true backbone of this science you're singing about, but that's another story for another day. . .
That's actually a really interesting statement. How do you mean math is the 'true backbone' of science?

And no I would have no problem diagraming those sentences.

Hwaet! Ich swefna cyst secgan wylle.

Can you diagram that one? Hint, it's English.
 
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ZeusonRoids

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a little off topic but your timeline of applying to medical school is epic. thoroughly enjoyed it.
Glad you enjoyed the MDapps my friend. Actually a ton of people have given me **** for it. I guess they think I should be more serious about medicine and junk.
 

JohnWetzel

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Thanks for putting up with the doomed MCAT teacher. I don't tell people 'study what you need!' but 'study forever'. Please don't take ME too seriously. It's just hard to hear students telling each other they don't need to know this or that. MCAT review is your last chance at general science before med school. This review process is meant to get you ready. It's not just about the application process. Also the more you know the easier it is to remember.. Contexts and interrelationships cue recall and deepen subtexts. Your brain doesn't work like a container with a definite volume.
 

tkim

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That's right. Instead of the tried and true 'get the advantage you deserve!' I'm pissing in the punch bowl at SDN. This is my new selling technique. This discussion is my least favorite. It brings out the ******* in me. Back in the 90's when it was course after course after course of small groups of premeds at MCAT Academy in Atlanta, it would never fail at the beginning of the course that a premed would joke about how a doctor will never use the equations of kinematics. It's the beginning of the course. I want them to come back. Pay me. I look on with bemused detachment and say something about how no change happens in this universe that doesn't involve motion.

What is my standing to make these points? Well after nearly twenty years working on MCAT (the last ten years getting up at 3:30 AM before working in biotech) the quality of my scientific awareness is something I didn't expect in 1999, when I folded MCAT Academy and started to build WikiPremed. At the end of those small group years I could teach physics, chemistry, organic and biology in an integrated way from my memory without notes. Wow! That was where I was, and I didn't understand very deeply I think. These days I can show you a complete path from the abiotic precursors in the hydrothermal mound four billion years ago to an RNA field with a gene frequency. I think I am the only one who can do this. In terms of pure theory, the scientific questions I don't understand have concentrated within a few areas and my mind works and works. Something generative is happening with me. I was one of those 3 standard deviation kids. Turned down Harvard a long time ago. I love learning and you might say I have been the greatest beneficiary of my work. Inventions of mine have given rise to three start-ups the past six months. They keep coming. It's getting kind of crazy, and I think I have a basis for a new scientific phenomenology involving Euler's equation and statistical mechanics. I might be unable to prevent myself from losing my mind because I am feeling a great deal of ecstatic mental anguish at the ineluctability of these problems, but for the purpose of this discussion, I hope it suffices to say that the quality of my scientific understanding is now pretty good so I know what I am talking about.

Premedical students actually are smart, but this way of thinking, in which everything is weighed for applicability, before you learn it, might be useful triage when faced with a great deal of factual trivia, but MCAT science is general science. It's the base of the pyramid. Everything on the MCAT is basic and fundamental. Things have a way of coming back again and again. The AAMC knows what it is doing with this test.
You could easily have shortened your post to "I am so smart and great."
 
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Thanks for putting up with the doomed MCAT teacher. I don't tell people 'study what you need!' but 'study forever'. Please don't take ME too seriously. It's just hard to hear students telling each other they don't need to know this or that. MCAT review is your last chance at general science before med school. This review process is meant to get you ready. It's not just about the application process. Also the more you know the easier it is to remember.. Contexts and interrelationships cue recall and deepen subtexts. Your brain doesn't work like a container with a definite volume.

This is the smartest thing I've seen you say. Bottom line, Docs past graduation don't spend their time on the minutia that the MCAT tests. Noone is saying that it is unnecessary, we are saying that the information is no longer readily available to practicing physicians, because they are not using it. This is a fact of life, whether you want to agree or not.
 

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I ask this for no more than as an intellectual query: if a 22-year-old science major can score a 42, what score would we expect of a 39 year-old doctor with ten years of practice in Internal Medicine?
They would probably do okay since the MCAT is more of a thinking exam. Also (from personal experience), I did not do well on the MCAT or multiple choce tests but after four years of medical school tests and the three USMLE exams, I am MUCH better at gaming tests. The effort needed to 'pass' these exams was substantially less after a while.