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Changes Being Made to Med School Applicant Assessment

New skills being emphasized on MCAT; multiple mini-interview technique being adopted

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) — In accordance with the changes in graduate medical education to better prepare doctors for a changing health care system, changes are being made to medical school applicant evaluation, according to an article published Feb. 19 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

As part of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Initiative, 11 universities are making changes to their undergraduate medical education programs, including use of real clinical data to examine patient populations and an emphasis on interprofessional and lifelong learning skills. These skills are being emphasized on the Medical College Admission Test, which is being revised and will require future physicians to have an understanding of social and behavioral sciences.

Furthermore, interview methods are changing, with local patients joining faculty members in applicant interviews as part of the AMA initiative. The multiple mini-interview technique is being adopted in place of traditional interviews. In the new technique, a group of applicants rotates through six to 10 stations, each of which each focuses on a different facet of what makes a good doctor.

“What will happen five years from now? What will our health care providers need to know? We can’t teach that now because it hasn’t been invented, but we do need to teach our providers the skill to constantly be learning,” Marc Triola, M.D., associate dean for educational informatics at the New York University School of Medicine, said during a panel discussion about the education overhaul.

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