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A New MCAT For Tomorrow’s Physician

April 5, 2012

Building a better physician through behavioral and social sciences

What: The Case for the New Medical College Admission Test: Why the MCAT must reflect physicians’ current public health challenges. A Perspective in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Who: The authors, Drs. Robert M. Kaplan, NIH; Jason M. Satterfield, University of California, San Francisco; and Raynard S. Kington, Grinnell College, support the new MCAT. They are available to discuss:

    Why do future physicians need to understand patients’ social, environmental, personal characteristics and complex health care systems, as well as their biology?

    Why must future physicians understand the ways in which culture and social differences influence well-being?

    Why do future physicians need to consider socio-economic factors in access to health care?

    How will the section on behavioral and social sciences, capture preparedness in these areas among medical school applications?

    How will the new MCAT affect the undergraduate school curriculum? Will it affect the curriculum in medical schools?

Why: Half of all premature deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to a few modifiable behaviors such as smoking, poor diet, and physical inactivity. Knowledge about behavioral and social sciences is critical to practicing effective medicine, as studies demonstrate the value of cognitive and behavioral interventions in treating mental illness, substance abuse and chronic diseases.

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