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May 27, 1974

The Physician and the Quality of Life

Author Affiliations

University Missouri-Kansas City Kansas City

JAMA. 1974;228(9):1117-1119. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230340019021

THERE is good evidence in medical education literature to suggest that the actual selection process that decides who gets into medical school has been weighted heavily toward science ability, with no similar appraisal of humanistic qualities.

In reviewing applicants for medical school, admission committees have given preponderant attention to college (before medical school) grades in science. High achievement in the science score in the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) became a favored index. Over the past 25 years, medical school faculties have taken pride in their "selection" ability by reporting with enthusiasm that the MCAT science score and the college science grades were the most (in fact, some said, only) accurate predictors of how a student would do in his medical school courses. It has been documented repeatedly that the outstanding student in medical school could be most accurately predicted from that same student's grades in science subjects in his