Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to Include More Than Science

Feb 22, 2012, 3:00 PM

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) last week announced forthcoming changes to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Mindful of the changing skillset that practitioners need to meet the demands of the job, the AAMC said that, beginning in 2015, the MCAT will test students’ reasoning and social science skills.

“Being a good doctor isn't just about understanding science: it's about understanding people,” Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and chief executive officer of AAMC, said at a news conference announcing the changes.

Two new sections will be added to the test: Psychological, Sociological and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. These sections will assess applicants’ perceptions and reactions to the world, understanding of population health and cross-cultural studies, and ethical and scientific reasoning skills.

Officials hope the expanded scope of the test will encourage students from a wide range of disciplines to consider medical school, the Los Angeles Times Booster Shots blog reports, and will lead to a more diverse medical workforce that is better prepared to deal with a changing patient population.

What do you think? Does the new MCAT test align with skills physicians will need in the future? Are there other subjects that also should be tested? Register below to leave a comment.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.