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Should the MCAT Exam Be Used for Medical School Admissions in Canada?

Eskander, Antoine MD; Shandling, Maureen MD, FRCPC; Hanson, Mark D. MD, MEd, FRCPC

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828b85af
Perspectives
AM Rounds Blog Post
Abstract

In light of the structural and content changes to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to be implemented in 2015 and the recent diversity- and social-accountability-based recommendations of the Future of Medical Education in Canada (FMEC) project, the authors review and reexamine the use of the MCAT exam in Canadian medical school admissions decisions.

This Perspective article uses a point–counterpoint format to discuss three main advantages and disadvantages of using the MCAT exam in the medical school admissions process, from a Canadian perspective. The authors examine three questions regarding the FMEC recommendations and the revised MCAT exam: (1) Is the MCAT exam equal and useful in Canadian admissions? (2) Does the MCAT exam affect matriculant diversity? and (3) Is the MCAT exam a strong predictor of future performance? They present the most recent arguments and evidence for and against use of the MCAT exam, with the purpose of summarizing these different perspectives for readers.

Author Information

Dr. Eskander is resident physician, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, and trainee, Clinician Investigator Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Shandling is professor, Department of Medicine, and vice president of medical affairs, Mount Sinai Hospital; and former associate dean of admissions and student finances, Undergraduate Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Hanson is associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, and associate dean of admissions and student finances, Undergraduate Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Hanson, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 1 King’s College Circle, Room 2135, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1A1; telephone: (416) 946-7972; e-mail: mark.hanson@utoronto.ca.

© 2013 Association of American Medical Colleges