Currently, the most important test prospective medical students take is the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT.
Despite what schools say, an MCAT score holds tremendous weight, more so than a brilliant essay or a stellar recommendation letter.
In an interesting New York Times piece, Pauline Chen wonders whether that score itself leads to a great physician. She discusses an article showing that students’ cognitive traits may be equally important.
Although students go through several interviews to get an assessment of their personality, these are rarely standardized, and certainly not quantified. It’s important to know, for instance, how a student responds to stress: “If I know someone is not just stress-prone, but stress-prone at the 95th percentile rather than the 65th. I would have to ask myself if that person could handle the stress of medicine.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*