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Getting into med school without hard sciences

The New York Times, July 30, 2010

For generations of pre-med students, three things have been as certain as death and taxes: organic chemistry, physics and the Medical College Admission Test. For decades, the medical profession has debated whether pre-med courses and admission tests produce doctors who know their alkyl halides but lack the sense of mission and interpersonal skills to become well-rounded, caring, inquisitive healers. That debate is being rekindled by a study published on Thursday in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Conducted by Mount Sinai medical school in New York City, the program’s founder, Nathan Kase, MD, and the medical school’s dean for medical education, Robert Muller, MD, the peer-reviewed study compared outcomes for 85 students in the Humanities and Medicine Program with those of 606 traditionally prepared classmates from the graduating classes of 2004 through 2009, and found that their academic performance in medical school was equivalent.