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Med school without the MCAT

July 30, 2010

Is it possible?  Students can skip pre-med courses, ditch the MCAT, and still become great doctors? That’s what Mount Sinai medical school in New York believes.

Every year, the Mount Sinai accepts about 35 undergrads-sophomores or juniors in college- who are studying the humanities and promises them a spot at the  medical school.

The New York Times ran a nice article about the program yesterday. It mentions a new study that compared  85 humanities students at Mount Sinai with 606 traditional med students at the school and found that their academic performance was pretty much equal.

I was particularly interested in this article because my friend Anna was accepted to Mount Sinai through this program. She could have easily been a radio star- she interned with Jay Allison and worked for StoryCorps.  But there was something appealing to her about the concreteness of being a doctor.  She’s one of the best listeners I know- an important and sometimes lacking skill among  physicians.

According to the Nytimes, Jonathan Safran Foer was also accepted into the Mount Sinai humanites program. He decided to go to be one of my favorite authors instead of finishing the program. But perhaps the world does need more physicians who are skilled in the turn of a phrase or the art of the interview in addition to a background in medicine.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Danuta M. Lamparski permalink
    July 31, 2010 7:22 pm

    Some details must have been left out of this report, namely the study of medical training in other countries. The humanities students were either 1) controls for comparison to medical school students, 2) met the passive requirements for an M.D. degree, 3) at risk for some chronic disease or 4) other reasons for identifying them as undergoing med school. In any case, depending on when this situation occurred in time, since 1976, a signed “Informed Consent and Voluntary Participation” form be on file and a copy given to students. Prior to 1976, other safeguards were in place.

    Danuta M. Lamparski

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