Criteria Changes Urged for Medical School Admission

Author presents five-point proposal to improve the quality of applicants

MONDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- To improve the quality of medical schools, admissions offers should rely less heavily on applicants' science scores and consider admitting those who are older, more well-rounded and artier, according to an article published in the August issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Christopher Cowley, Ph.D., of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., presented a five-point proposal: (1) Require an A level in a humanity or social science to supplement but not replace the stringent science requirement. (2) Give extra points for an A level in English literature. (3) Increase the minimum application age to 23. (4) Encourage applicants to have one previous year of full-time experience in a health care or charity setting. (5) Give applicants two lists of interview discussion topics to prepare: works of literature and topics in health care politics.

"Medical schools have come a long way towards improving the curriculum by increasing the content of humanities subjects and communication skills in the past decades," the author concludes. "It is not clear how much further such improvements can go with the raw materials at hand. The 18-year-old pure-science pupil is no longer suitable for medicine."

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