Virtual Mentor

Virtual Mentor. August 2014, Volume 16, Number 8.

Ethics Poll

Choosing and Training Future Physicians

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Do you think the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), with its emphasis on acquired knowledge in science and math, is an effective way to screen medical school applicants?
Yes. Remembering what you learn is critical in medicine.
Yes. It is an accurate predictor of success in medical school.
It should be one factor but should be given less importance than it now has in admissions decisions.
No. It weeds out potentially good doctors who are not good test-takers.
No. It is unfair to those who cannot afford to take expensive MCAT-preparation classes.

Many medical educators advocate including study of the humanities (e.g., art, literature, history, philosophy, religion, or other nonscience courses) as a required part of medical school curricula. Which of the following best describes what you think about this idea?
Such coursework should be required. It takes more than science to be a competent, compassionate physician.
Sounds okay. Can't see how such study could be harmful to anyone.
Good idea if there is time in the curriculum. Medical science coursework must take priority.
Medical students should pursue interests in those fields on their own, outside of the formal curriculum.

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Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.