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srotondo19

Medical Schools That Don't Require The Mcat Or Only The Critical Analysis And Reasoning Section

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Hey, I was hoping I could get some help compiling a list of which medical schools (both inside and outside of Canada) that don't require the mcat or if they do, only the critical analysis and reasoning section. I wasn't sure if I missed any schools but the only schools I have come across are:

 

1) McMaster - Critical analysis and reasoning section requires

2) North Ontario School of Medicine - MCAT not required

3) University of Ottawa - MCAT not required

 

Thanks!

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UK schools.Only 4  require BMAT that is similar to  MCAT.

 

Other require UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test)  that does not contain any curriculum or science content but focuses on exploring the cognitive powers  other attributes considered to be valuable for health care professionals. It consists of verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision analysis and situational judgement.

 

The world is backing off from science-based admission tests for medicine that regurgitate school material.  Critical Analysis And Reasoning Section in MCAT is the step in right direction to distinguish between candidates on the basis of  attributes other than their ability to retain basic curriculum. As usual, Mac is ahead of others.
 

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French schools, Mac (only VR), Calgary (considers VR only - requires all sections), NOSM, Ottawa.

Don't know why this keeps getting passed around. Calgary considers all sections, just to a lesser (it's unknown by how much) extent.

 

Also, just write the MCAT, haha.

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Don't know why this keeps getting passed around. Calgary considers all sections, just to a lesser (it's unknown by how much) extent.

 

Also, just write the MCAT, haha.

I did mention that the entire MCAT is required, but VR is the section that is specifically marked on. The other sections may be considered in the 10% subjective assessment. But the assessment includes trends of grades, difficulty of program/courses, etc so it's not just the other sections of the mcat

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amichel - You may be right - but this is on Calgary's letterhead (maybe from a different department?) -

 

https://www.ucalgary.ca/ssc/files/ssc/wss_medschool_2014.pdf

 

Here is the definitive answer - looks like a "flag" situation... only VR is really used..

 

http://mdadmissions.ucalgaryblogs.ca/2014/03/03/a-question-regarding-mcat-2015/

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Don't know why this keeps getting passed around. Calgary considers all sections, just to a lesser (it's unknown by how much) extent.

 

Also, just write the MCAT, haha.

U of C only counts verbal (now CARS) for their MCAT section, but the others are factored in to the subjective review of academics

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U of C only counts verbal (now CARS) for their MCAT section, but the others are factored in to the subjective review of academics

That's what I meant. Not trying on the other sections will definitely negatively impact your chances for interview. How much is up for debate.

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Don't know why this keeps getting passed around. Calgary considers all sections, just to a lesser (it's unknown by how much) extent.

 

Also, just write the MCAT, haha.

 

It can be really hard for some people to just write it, especially the sciences which arguably require a lot of time invested in learning that humungous load of material.

 

Some schools have considered removing the MCAT requirement entirely because it restricts diversity with respect to income (i.e. those who have courses/don't need to work in the summer can do better). I personally would/and in fact did write the entire MCAT, but I can see why some students wouldn't. 

 

Here is a really interesting review by Dr. Mark Hanson (Dean of Admissions at U of T medicine) on this topic:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23524935

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It can be really hard for some people to just write it, especially the sciences which arguably require a lot of time invested in learning that humungous load of material.

 

Some schools have considered removing the MCAT requirement entirely because it restricts diversity with respect to income (i.e. those who have courses/don't need to work in the summer can do better). I personally would/and in fact did write the entire MCAT, but I can see why some students wouldn't.

 

Here is a really interesting review by Dr. Mark Hanson (Dean of Admissions at U of T medicine) on this topic:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23524935

Totally fair. Just wasn't the impression I got from OP but I shouldn't assume.

 

However, I also think the amount of time needed to study gets overblown. The MCAT is really a critical thinking test and memorizing gobs of info is the wrong approach. Obviously this doesn't apply if you have no science background, but that's about academic diversity not income diversity.

 

As for courses, true, but I don't think anybody needs courses. At all. Think theyre mostly a scam actually.

 

I can see how the registration fee, however would be a barrier, and Canada definitely needs a program for that like the states.

 

Lastly, I think talking about eliminating the MCAT to increase income diversity is mostly just something the schools can publicly say they've done. The reasons behind the lack of socioeconomic diversity in med school are far deeper and start far sooner than the MCAT. I'm not sure eliminating the MCAT would do anything at all to change that.

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Totally fair. Just wasn't the impression I got from OP but I shouldn't assume.

 

However, I also think the amount of time needed to study gets overblown. The MCAT is really a critical thinking test and memorizing gobs of info is the wrong approach. Obviously this doesn't apply if you have no science background, but that's about academic diversity not income diversity.

 

As for courses, true, but I don't think anybody needs courses. At all. Think theyre mostly a scam actually.

 

I can see how the registration fee, however would be a barrier, and Canada definitely needs a program for that like the states.

 

Lastly, I think talking about eliminating the MCAT to increase income diversity is mostly just something the schools can publicly say they've done. The reasons behind the lack of socioeconomic diversity in med school are far deeper and start far sooner than the MCAT. I'm not sure eliminating the MCAT would do anything at all to change that.

When I was finishing highschool, the cost of writing the SAT both monetary (~$100) and timewise was the biggest hurdle I couldn't overcome to even consider applying to do my undergrad in the states.

 

There are for sure more barriers for the economically disadvantaged than the MCAT, but it's definitely a big one. Now that I'm in a considerably better financial situation, I can say stuff like the $600 I spent on MCAT and prep materials is worth it in the long run because it helps me to secure a better future, but the funny thing about the psychology of the poor is long-term thinking is impaired, risk-reward ratios gets skewed.

 

As a poor person, there would be no way I'd risk pursuing med (with the possibility of going through multiple applications cycles, multiple MCAT rewrites) for the very slim chance of making it. It would seem like too much money thrown down the drain. Also, a poorer person has typically less volunteering activities, which is another disadvantage.

 

I'd say it may even be a bigger psychological barrier than ridiculous EC requirements. When I applied, I didn't think I had a good chance because I have done no volunteering work. My rationale, as for most people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, was if I had time to work for free, I'd rather work for money. But I didn't feel completely hopeless because all my work experience still counted as ECs. Lack of volunteering puts me at a disadvantage, but it didn't disqualify me (as having no MCAT would).

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When I was finishing highschool, the cost of writing the SAT both monetary (~$100) and timewise was the biggest hurdle I couldn't overcome to even consider applying to do my undergrad in the states.

 

There are for sure more barriers for the economically disadvantaged than the MCAT, but it's definitely a big one. Now that I'm in a considerably better financial situation, I can say stuff like the $600 I spent on MCAT and prep materials is worth it in the long run because it helps me to secure a better future, but the funny thing about the psychology of the poor is long-term thinking is impaired, risk-reward ratios gets skewed.

 

As a poor person, there would be no way I'd risk pursuing med (with the possibility of going through multiple applications cycles, multiple MCAT rewrites) for the very slim chance of making it. It would seem like too much money thrown down the drain. Also, a poorer person has typically less volunteering activities, which is another disadvantage.

 

I'd say it may even be a bigger psychological barrier than ridiculous EC requirements. When I applied, I didn't think I had a good chance because I have done no volunteering work. My rationale, as for most people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, was if I had time to work for free, I'd rather work for money. But I didn't feel completely hopeless because all my work experience still counted as ECs. Lack of volunteering puts me at a disadvantage, but it didn't disqualify me (as having no MCAT would).

I'm not disagreeing with you at all, I just don't think getting rid of the MCAT would change anything.

 

As you said, there would still be ECs (although as I've said before, working counts, so...) and it's still harder to get a high GPA if you have to work.

 

Sure, things like that don't disqualify you, but they pretty much do. And unlike the MCAT, which is a one-time (albeit hefty) expense, these barriers are continuous and can't be paid for with some extra shifts. :/

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I'm not disagreeing with you at all, I just don't think getting rid of the MCAT would change anything.

 

As you said, there would still be ECs (although as I've said before, working counts, so...) and it's still harder to get a high GPA if you have to work.

 

Sure, things like that don't disqualify you, but they pretty much do. And unlike the MCAT, which is a one-time (albeit hefty) expense, these barriers are continuous and can't be paid for with some extra shifts. :/

 

Although med schools do rightly value work experience, I would question how much they actually take into consideration these real barriers in the autobiographical sketch in reality. Ottawa only looks at your top 3 in each section; it basically demands that you fit the "well-rounded" candidate bill and as a result your work experience can only compensate for so much. U of T has, in part, turned down applicants for not having adequate "work-life" balance on the autobiographical sketch (i.e. too much under employment/research and not enough under volunteer/extracirricular). Although many will disagree, I think the autobiographical sketch should be interpreted in the context of one's socioeconomic status and their geography (some places simply have more opportunities). 

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Also, when you get rid of the MCAT you basically have to be more stringent on other parameters, which we've already discussed as being more difficulty for people with less money to achieve.

 

Look at Ottawa....

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Although med schools do rightly value work experience, I would question how much they actually take into consideration these real barriers in the autobiographical sketch in reality. Ottawa only looks at your top 3 in each section; it basically demands that you fit the "well-rounded" candidate bill and as a result your work experience can only compensate for so much. U of T has, in part, turned down applicants for not having adequate "work-life" balance on the autobiographical sketch (i.e. too much under employment/research and not enough under volunteer/extracirricular). Although many will disagree, I think the autobiographical sketch should be interpreted in the context of one's socioeconomic status and their geography (some places simply have more opportunities).

I don't disagree, I just don't know if there is a fair way to do it.

 

Ottawa definitely seems to favour well-off traditional applicants. I personally think only accepting ECs done during undergrad is horribly unfair.

 

So that's an easy fix, but otherwise, how would you do it? Other than just a subjective assessment, which might work.

 

But, do people with more opportunies get less points? Doesn't seem fair, since you still have to seek out opportunities. Or do people with less advantages just get catch up points?

 

I don't know.

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Also, when you get rid of the MCAT you basically have to be more stringent on other parameters, which we've already discussed as being more difficulty for people with less money to achieve.

 

Look at Ottawa....

 

It's true. Before Mac discovered the VR, they used to not use the MCAT at all. As a result, they were one of the most GPA intensive schools in the country. It's hard to believe, but it's true. Average GPA of one of the classes a few years back was something like 3.90 (without weighting, mind you - that is a raw cGPA). 

 

I don't disagree, I just don't know if there is a fair way to do it.

 

Ottawa definitely seems to favour well-off traditional applicants. I personally think only accepting ECs done during undergrad is horribly unfair.

 

So that's an easy fix, but otherwise, how would you do it? Other than just a subjective assessment, which might work.

 

But, do people with more opportunies get less points? Doesn't seem fair, since you still have to seek out opportunities. Or do people with less advantages just get catch up points?

 

I don't know.

 

I think CASPer is pretty fair. Assesses competencies, not experiences. Experiences are used as a surrogate measure of competencies. CASPer cuts to the chase. 

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It's true. Before Mac discovered the VR, they used to not use the MCAT at all. As a result, they were one of the most GPA intensive schools in the country. It's hard to believe, but it's true. Average GPA of one of the classes a few years back was something like 3.90 (without weighting, mind you - that is a raw cGPA).

 

 

I think CASPer is pretty fair. Assesses competencies, not experiences. Experiences are used as a surrogate measure of competencies. CASPer cuts to the chase.

 

Yah I think CASPer is fair too, but lots of people think it's the most unfair thing of all time, haha

 

In my experience, it was pretty much like a written MMI. I'd be surprised if people with low CASPers had strong MMI performances.

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Yah I think CASPer is fair too, but lots of people think it's the most unfair thing of all time, haha

 

In my experience, it was pretty much like a written MMI. I'd be surprised if people with low CASPers had strong MMI performances.

A very slow typer might be at a disadvantage here. I don't mean that you have to be a fast Typer to do "good" on CASPer but being faster can probably help you get your ideas out more efficiently.

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I personally think calgary is doing a good job with the admission formulae. They don't weigh the GPA heavily, only VR is considered, a 10% subjective component let's adcoms decide what they think of the difficulty of programs/etc and account for it, and Life experiences are essentially what matter the most.

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A very slow typer might be at a disadvantage here. I don't mean that you have to be a fast Typer to do "good" on CASPer but being faster can probably help you get your ideas out more efficiently.

Ha, I think that improving your typing speed is a pretty low barrier to overcome compared to improving one's GPA or MCAT.

 

In terms of MCAT, I do agree with others that the VR section does not take much time.

 

On the other hand, I do think that it is reasonable for med schools to want candidates to demonstrate an aptitude for science, thus the other sections. An admissions policy requiring either full MCAT or pre reqs would cover this.

 

In terms of the whole application process and favoring higher SES groups, yes it's pretty bad. I think that the different schools are doing the best that they can, but it could be better. The more I learn about the process and what the ad coms seem to value, the more I think this way :S.

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Yah I think CASPer is fair too, but lots of people think it's the most unfair thing of all time, haha

 

In my experience, it was pretty much like a written MMI. I'd be surprised if people with low CASPers had strong MMI performances.

 

It is meant to be like an interview. One of the papers on CASPER was called something like "Extending the medical school interview to all Candidates". 

 

It was seemingly unfair to them that only the highly accomplished and academic subset of students should have their non-cognitive qualities assessed in the MMI. (this was back when Mcmaster's criteria used to be 67% GPA and 33% autobiographical submission). Here is what their admission stats looked like back then

 

http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/mdprog/documents/Classof2012.pdf

 

Their average accepted GPA here makes them look more like U of T/Ottawa, but worse because of no weighting. In contrast to today's system, it seems here that hardly anyone below a 3.80 stood a chance at McMaster. The CASPER ended up replacing the autobiographical submission to simulate more of the interview experience for everyone, and part of the weight of GPA went to the VR because it was seen as a tool which "straddled the boundary between cognitive and cognitive assessment". I.e. the implication is that there was an emotional/non-cognitive aspect to succeeding on the VR.

 

The intent was for the interview criteria to be 50/50 between cognitive and non-cognitive. And to be honest, I'd run med school admissions in a similar way if it were up to me, except for the fact that I'm not so sure that I would use the verbal as heavily as Mac does. Focusing more on the non-cognitive outside of ABS-esque submissions could serve to increase the class's diversity. I'm really not sure if that has worked or not for them. 

 

I do agree that more time should be added to the CASPER stations so that the difference in quality of response due to typing speeds is flattened out. I'm sure Mac receives this feedback a lot and I really do wonder why they continue to have the exam move as fast as it does. 

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Really? The new MCAT includes a new section that is just this. 

 

True - in Canada, where science degree is not required, it makes sense to screen fine arts grads for basic science. But I can't image anybody having background in science to have problem with MCAT, with exception of VR of course.

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