February 17, 2012
The exam all medical school applicants take will have new sections requiring a broader knowledge of psychology, sociology, and the social components of health starting in 2015.
The changes are the first made since 1991 for the Medical College Admission Test, known as the MCAT.
Patients tend to have great confidence in the scientific knowledge in their doctors, but less confidence in their bedside manners, said Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the American Association of Medical Colleges.
The exam is “designed to help students prepare for a rapidly changing health care system and an evolving body of medical knowledge while addressing the needs of a growing, aging, and increasingly diverse population,” according to a press release from the AAMC, which represents all 136 accredited U.S. medical schools.
The exam is "a key tool that we have used and will continue to use to select the people who will be our doctors in the future," Kirsch said. "This is an important component in the gateway to the profession of medicine."
The MCATs will now take six and a half hours (instead of the current four and a half hours), with a total of four sections.