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MCAT revamped--will include social and behavioral sciences


moo

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So maybe I would be better to take the MCAT before 2015, I don't have a good backround in humanities, and I don't want to take a humanities course, because evaluations are subjective.

 

That's my plan.

 

Plus the new MCAT will probably have a different learning curve to it. One which you may or may not want to experience.

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So maybe I would be better to take the MCAT before 2015, I don't have a good backround in humanities, and I don't want to take a humanities course, because evaluations are subjective.

 

Are you even allowed to avoid humanities? I can't graduate with a bachelor of science at my school unless I take humanities. Humanities get such a bad rap, but they're not that awful. Ask around about profs; don't take a class with a prof that doesn't give As or is notoriously difficult to work with. Follow the same advice that you would give for choosing a good non-humanities prof. I don't mean choose easy profs so you skate through every class, but just don't let your ignorance stick you with a prof that is a sadist.

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Are you even allowed to avoid humanities? I can't graduate with a bachelor of science at my school unless I take humanities. Humanities get such a bad rap, but they're not that awful. Ask around about profs; don't take a class with a prof that doesn't give As or is notoriously difficult to work with. Follow the same advice that you would give for choosing a good non-humanities prof. I don't mean choose easy profs so you skate through every class, but just don't let your ignorance stick you with a prof that is a sadist.

 

well there is a difference between a course or two and a big focus on it. It is always possible to find one or two easy courses in pretty much anything - but to get to the same level as say organic chem level knowledge for the mcat requires ahh say 4 courses (2 basic chem + 2 organic chem). If to do well you need similar knowledge in humanities then it changes the game a bit. I don't think it is that bad but it is certainly coming down the pipe. These are about to change :)

 

and to support this - I took as one of my degrees an arts one and if you know what you are doing you can do quite well. It really isn't as subjective as it seems if it is your major focus.

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I'm assuming these new behavioral/humanities questions will be multiple choice too, does that mean the questions are going to be like: "the idea that people will ______ in certain situations, is a theory proposed by this psychologist."

 

Not quite sure how taking courses in humanities etc. will make you more personable.

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Are you even allowed to avoid humanities? I can't graduate with a bachelor of science at my school unless I take humanities. Humanities get such a bad rap, but they're not that awful. Ask around about profs; don't take a class with a prof that doesn't give As or is notoriously difficult to work with. Follow the same advice that you would give for choosing a good non-humanities prof. I don't mean choose easy profs so you skate through every class, but just don't let your ignorance stick you with a prof that is a sadist.

 

Well, most of us did cegep, and there are 3 obligatory philosophy/humanities courses (anglos cegeps have humanities, francos have philosophy). But most students don't like philo.

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I would imagine that these changes would further encourage students from a variety of backgrounds (not just mainly science students) to think about a career in medicine. I think blending the natural sciences with social and behavioral sciences is a huge step forward for the MCAT.

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Yeah I guess my feelings are just...the humanities and whatnot are so abstract and subjective - I don't see how if one person scores better in a humanities portion of a test, that they are more likely to know how to deal with people.

 

I tell you I am not fit to be a Psychiatrist - but I would ace a Psychiatry test.

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psychological and social factors and even ethical questions shouldn't be on the mcat..

 

Aren't we going to med school to learn those things?

 

 

one possible reason why they did this is probably because they must have saw that students from psychology or social sciences tend to do better at the current Verbal Reasoning and then radically jumped on the idea that allows more students from those area to get an upper edge so more of them get into med school..

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Yeah I guess my feelings are just...the humanities and whatnot are so abstract and subjective - I don't see how if one person scores better in a humanities portion of a test, that they are more likely to know how to deal with people.

 

I tell you I am not fit to be a Psychiatrist - but I would ace a Psychiatry test.

 

Well it isn't just how they would deal with people - an arts degree doesn't teach you have to deal with people really (I never had a course in people skills :) My essays didn't prepare me to have conversations either). It teaches you to think about things in a different and probably deeper way and usually to be exposed to ideas about the structure of societies and impact those structures have. Just like an engineer has an particular kind of approach so does an arts major (when it is done properly of course).

 

That all being said if all I had was an arts degree I think I personally would feel incomplete. Same with purely science as well I guess. I know I am a bit odd in that respect but having exposure to both in a meaningful way I think is pretty useful - as opposed to just getting what ever easiest bird course you can get your hands on :)

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psychological and social factors and even ethical questions shouldn't be on the mcat..

 

Aren't we going to med school to learn those things?

 

 

one possible reason why they did this is probably because they must have saw that students from psychology or social sciences tend to do better at the current Verbal Reasoning and then radically jumped on the idea that allows more students from those area to get an upper edge so more of them get into med school..

 

med schools have always tried to have a push for humanities etc in their applicants (hence the prereqs to start with). It is philosophy that I think they extended it to this.

 

The MCAT is designed to predict who WILL do well in medical school, not to provide an advantage to an otherwise not selected group. The AAMC believes this new test is a better predictor of success in med school based on their analysis than the old one.

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med schools have always tried to have a push for humanities etc in their applicants (hence the prereqs to start with). It is philosophy that I think they extended it to this.

 

The MCAT is designed to predict who WILL do well in medical school, not to provide an advantage to an otherwise not selected group. The AAMC believes this new test is a better predictor of success in med school based on their analysis than the old one.

 

Also possibly that premeds who learn about social or psychological problems may become better doctors with wider perspectives in the future.

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Also possibly that premeds who learn about social or psychological problems may become better doctors with wider perspectives in the future.

 

I think the AAMC's point is that you can say all other things being equal that premeds that learn about such things DO become on average better doctors. If they didn't think that was so they wouldn't be making the change.

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med schools have always tried to have a push for humanities etc in their applicants (hence the prereqs to start with). It is philosophy that I think they extended it to this.

 

The MCAT is designed to predict who WILL do well in medical school, not to provide an advantage to an otherwise not selected group. The AAMC believes this new test is a better predictor of success in med school based on their analysis than the old one.

 

well you never know what the aamc is trying to do.

 

when I registered for my mcat, they asked me for my courses studied and even major of study and etc.. for all I know, they are doing some data collection for the past afew years and have noticed that those who take humanities and social sciences are doing good at Verbal Reasoning, and then they compare that with some bs research done on the USMLE vs VR scores and decide that "Oh, We have an idea, Lets make it easy for people who take social sciences and humanities because these are the people that are doing well on the USMLE"

 

(not to mention, from doing that the "Researchers" at AAMC just justified their jobs for the next 5-10 years)

Id even go as far as to predict that the whole "Research" department at AAMC was probably feeling pretty useless and only recommended these changes to show that they are working (and deserve the job).. Oh well, thats how the world works.. the next generation of premeds will just have to adapt.

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well you never know what the aamc is trying to do.

 

when I registered for my mcat, they asked me for my courses studied and even major of study and etc.. for all I know, they are doing some data collection for the past afew years and have noticed that those who take humanities and social sciences are doing good at Verbal Reasoning, and then they compare that with some bs research done on the USMLE vs VR scores and decide that "Oh, We have an idea, Lets make it easy for people who take social sciences and humanities because these are the people that are doing well on the USMLE"

 

(not to mention, from doing that the "Researchers" at AAMC just justified their jobs for the next 5-10 years)

Id even go as far as to predict that the whole "Research" department at AAMC was probably feeling pretty useless and only recommended these changes to show that they are working (and deserve the job).. Oh well, thats how the world works.. the next generation of premeds will just have to adapt.

 

You make it sound like they are just pulling these changes out of the air :)

 

Your logic though may actually be close to their thoughts though on some level if your assumption(?) is correct - the USMLE is the supposed to be their main scoring for med student performance and has been validated. If people with a social science/humanities background actually are doing better on it than their science peers, and by implication then would make better doctors, then of course the MCAT should select for those students. In fact you could argue the current test is actually biased against those who would make better doctors then and thus needs to be changed on that merit. This of course all strings on a series of assumptions - most importantly do social science students actually do better on the USMLE(?)

 

They do outline their process for developing the changes, and the various medical schools who provide input have an interest in making sure the MCAT is valid. Cannot say the process is perfect and there could even be biases in the upcoming test as well (trouble is you can say that about anything, but objectively where is the evidence :) ), but you can say the people involved don't have an obvious reason to shift the test in anyway except to potentially evaluate applicants in a superior fashion.

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I tell you I am not fit to be a Psychiatrist - but I would ace a Psychiatry test.

 

I don't understand, how would you ace a psychiatry test? have you gone through meds already?

 

I think social sciences would be good to have. Biopsychosocial models saturate medical education, understanding where patients are coming from and how you can help them (beyond their physical health needs) is very important. I wish I had taken more social sciences classes... actually no I don't haha but they would have been helpful for sure. To be a true advocate for your patients you need to know more than science.

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Since you're just making claims of nonsense I'll make some too.

 

I think you're just grumpy because some people who have a greater depth to them than just a science person will potentially do better than you.

 

Funny how I never really heard complaints from non-science people about the science sections of the MCAT. Now they change it up a bit and science people get nasally.

 

What's funny is most of the actual med students posting in this thread or those who are already done seem to agree with these changes. I'd trust their judgement over the premed wannabe whose life just got a bit more difficult because they'll now have to study something they've tried to avoid :)

 

well you never know what the aamc is trying to do.

 

when I registered for my mcat, they asked me for my courses studied and even major of study and etc.. for all I know, they are doing some data collection for the past afew years and have noticed that those who take humanities and social sciences are doing good at Verbal Reasoning, and then they compare that with some bs research done on the USMLE vs VR scores and decide that "Oh, We have an idea, Lets make it easy for people who take social sciences and humanities because these are the people that are doing well on the USMLE"

 

(not to mention, from doing that the "Researchers" at AAMC just justified their jobs for the next 5-10 years)

Id even go as far as to predict that the whole "Research" department at AAMC was probably feeling pretty useless and only recommended these changes to show that they are working (and deserve the job).. Oh well, thats how the world works.. the next generation of premeds will just have to adapt.

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So are the new humanities/social sci sections going to require outside knowledge? Or will it be like verbal where you get all the info from the passage?

 

They say in their introduction materials that taking sociology and psychology courses would be suitable prep - only the first year ones would be required, just like mostly you need first year chemistry and first year physics. Organic is still only there so they continue to recommend you take the second year courses in that and a 1/2 year of biochem.

 

Kind of shifts the focus from oh take any humanities courses for your possible prereqs to something more specific now :)

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