Myths about Preparing for Medical Schools

SMUS-University-Counselling

“We are looking for great students, not great doctors.”

Many people assume the following about preparing for medical school:

1.You need to take a mostly science and math based curriculum in both high school and university.

2. A university with a medical school is the best place to attend for undergrad

Response:

1.More and more, medical schools are looking for students who are passionate about their subject, but it can be art history or literature, as long as one has taken the requisite science and math courses in their undergrad programme. As an article in the Wall Street Journal explains: Medical schools are placing a growing emphasis on the humanities… programs (that) aim to teach students “right brain” insights and skills they won’t learn dissecting cadavers or studying pathology slides”.

They are looking also for noncognitive qualities like passion, emotional intelligence, compassion and creativity. Creators of the MCAT, the medical admissions test, are currently exploring ways to add communication skills to the test, among other options.

2. In most universities with medical schools (unless it is an early entry programme), there is no advantage to having attended that school for undergrad. McMaster, with its exemplary pre med curriculum, is one of those examples, and there are dozens more across both Canada and the US. In fact, in the US, it is the small liberal arts colleges – Amherst, Colgate, Grinnell, Carleton, Lawrence, and Pomona, to mention a few – that have the best record of medical school admissions.

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