Study: Medical Admissions’ relationship with Innovations Can Cause Unintended Disruption in Admitted Students

diverse doctors clipart

MSC Dive Brief:

  • Since 2007, when the MCAT switched from a paper-based format to a revised computer-based format, technologies have been disrupting medical school admissions, such as situational judgement tests (SJTs) like the CASPer and the standardized video interview (SVI), a new study reports conducted by Canadian researchers and published in the Journal of the Association of American Colleges. 
  • The research has various implications for students hailing from a rural or international background learning for the MCAT as applicants must be able to achieve a certain score in order to be in serious consideration for admissions. Furthermore, the lead author of the study, Dr. Mark D. Hanson, pondered whether the advance of technologies which reduce human contact, whether by eliminating the need for an evaluator or a physical interviewer, increase the effect that convenient access has on how and why we conduct the admissions process.
  • Earlier studies have noted the idea that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may impact the practice of healthcare in the US, but Hanson states that none have looked at the impact that technologies were having on medical admissions now. The global impact of the MCAT, SJTs, and SVI may actually hinder those who are trying to gain access to medical education in the US, and increase the already present divide between rural and urban medical school applicants.

MSC Dive Insight:

Creating a fair and equitable admissions process is a noble goal, but there needs to be a discussion about specifics as well when the process is driven by academic capitalism. These problems with already-present computerized tests which assess personality and “human touch” through a screen may actually accentuate local institutional and national student diversity problems.

For example, data which is collected by the MCAT during a U.S. based examination was the same as a Canadian examination until 2016, and notably left out several minority groups who took the examination (First Nations, Inuit, etc.) which have been recognized by the Canadian government. Because no data are collected about these test-takers, they are essentially invisible to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) when they look at who is applying to medical school.

Communities who are not as vocal may not be able to change implicit biases against them when it comes to the CASPer, which is a type of SJT which imposes yet another financial burden on students when trying to send scores (which applicants cannot see) to medical schools. Reducing the “human touch” aspect in favor of convenience may not be equated with utility in medical admissions.

Medical school applicants should be wary of these biases when studying for the MCAT, because there is a lot of variability when it comes to college classes. The MCAT is standardized (albeit with the drawbacks mentioned in the study) and therefore, the information that one needs to learn is clear. Adjusting the test for local demographic changes needs to be done in a socially responsible manner which aligns incentives with academic capitalism. For the applicant, this means that while doing these tests, remembering to stay true to oneself and your individual identity. The medical school admissions process, while disrupted by technology, can still be engineered to one’s benefit. If one has the right tutors and self-awareness of how the technology used during admissions, they will also know how it will affect the school’s eventual decision.

Citation

Hanson, M. D., & Eva, K. W. (2019). A Reflection Upon the Impact of Early 21st Century Technological Innovations on Medical School Admissions.Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Medical Schools that Accept International Students

The medical school admissions process is competitive enough as it is! But as an international applicant, it’s even harder. There’s a limited number of medical schools in the US that accept or even interview international students. A good place to start making your list if you are an international student is to understand which MD schools even interview international applicants. This list below should help you as it lists medical schools that interview and eventually accept international students.

Interviews for International Medical School Applicants

School NameNumber of International Students Interviewed
Wayne State University School of Medicine93
Boston University School of Medicine68
Georgetown University School of Medicine65
Saint Louis University School of Medicine54
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine52
Harvard Medical School49
West Virginia University School of Medicine48
Yale School of Medicine43
Weill Cornell Medical College41
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine38
University of Virginia School of Medicine36
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine34
Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine34
Stanford University School of Medicine31
University of Kentucky College of Medicine29
University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine28
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine27
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons26
New York Medical College22
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of yeshiva University21
Emory University School of Medicine21
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth21
New York University School of Medicine21
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science20
University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences The Pritzker School of Medicine20
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine19
Loma Linda University School of Medicine18
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine18
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry16
Duke University School of Medicine15
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai15
Stony Brook University School of Medicine15
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences12
Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania12
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University12
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine11
Howard University College of Medicine9
State University of New York Upstate Medical University9
University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine9
University of Maryland School of Medicine8
Creighton University School of Medicine7
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas Southwestern Medical School6
Mayo Medical School5
University of Utah School of Medicine5
Medical College of Wisconsin4
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine4
Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School4
Tulane University School of Medicine4
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University3
University of California, Davis, School of Medicine3
University of Connecticut School of Medicine3