Recently the Times ran a leading story on a new med school admission process, with multiple, mini-interviews, like speed dating. The idea is to assess applicants’ social, communication and ethical thinking (?) skills:
…It is called the multiple mini interview, or M.M.I., and its use is spreading. At least eight medical schools in the United States — including those at Stanford, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cincinnati — and 13 in Canada are using it.
At Virginia Tech Carilion, 26 candidates showed up on a Saturday in March and stood with their backs to the doors of 26 small rooms. When a bell sounded, the applicants spun around and read a sheet of paper taped to the door that described an ethical conundrum. Two minutes later, the bell sounded again and the applicants charged into the small rooms and found an interviewer waiting. A chorus of cheerful greetings rang out, and the doors shut. The candidates had eight minutes to discuss that room’s situation. Then they moved to the next room, the next surprise conundrum…
This sounds great, at first glance. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*
One of the recurring themes of this blog, not surprisingly given its name, is the proper role of science in medicine. As Dr. Novella has made clear from the very beginning, we advocate science-based medicine (SBM), which is what evidence-based medicine (EBM) should be. SBM tries to overcome the shortcomings of EBM by taking into account all the evidence, both scientific and clinical, in deciding what therapies work, what therapies don’t work, and why.
To recap, a major part of our thesis is that EBM, although a step forward over prior dogma-based medical models, ultimately falls short of making medicine as effective as it can be. As currently practiced, EBM appears to worship clinical trial evidence above all else and nearly completely ignores basic science considerations, relegating them to the lowest form of evidence, lower than even small case series. This blind spot has directly contributed to the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine and so-called EBM because in the cases of ridiculously improbable modalities like homeopathy and reiki, deficiencies in how clinical trials are conducted and analyzed can make it appear that these modalities might actually have efficacy. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*
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*