MCAT reforms for 2015 include psychological and social competency

February 23, 2012

The Association of American Medical Colleges has approved sweeping revisions to the Medical College Admission Test that will require would-be doctors to demonstrate that they understand the psychological and social underpinnings of medicine, and not just the hard science. The revamped MCAT will include 2 new sections: one on the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behaviour, and the other on critical analysis and reasoning skills. It will also have 2 natural-science sections covering material learned in introductory biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics courses. The new exam eliminates a writing section that was not widely considered. Critics have argued that such a broadening of the scope of the MCAT would burden pre-medical students with more requirements and discourage many from applying, but the association sees it "as giving them freedom" to study what they are really interested in, says the association's president. The changes come into effect in 2015.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)