TL;DR MCAT

I endeavor to make high-quality preparation materials for the MCAT available to all students, independent of socioeconomic background. The resources below build on the work of Khan Academy, WikiPreMed, MD Hero/MCAT-Review, and similar websites that offer free material to students.

Why TL;DR MCAT?

To gain admission to medical school in the United States, pre-med students are required to jump through an increasing number of hoops. If they avoid being weeded out of the process after taking organic chemistry and physics in college, another challenge awaits: the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

While the relationship between performance on college admissions tests and socioeconomic status (SES) has been well-researched (see Zwick (2004) and Sackett et al. (2012)), how a student’s background may affect their score on the MCAT has largely escaped scrutiny.

Some of the only research comes from Davis and colleagues (2013), who found that while MCAT scores among black and Latino students were lower than those of white examinees, there was no evidence to suggest that the design of the MCAT or the medical school admission process was biased against minority applicants.

Clearly, further investigation in this area is warranted, particularly when one considers the shortage of physicians in the United States in rural areas (Rabinowitz et al., 2011) and minority communities (Gaskin et al., 2012) as well as in primary care (Phillips et al., 2014).

Worse still, fully one-third of all physicians in the U.S. will be 65 years or older within the next ten years, likely to soon join their baby-boomer peers in retirement (Markit, 2017).

In this time of great change in the American health care system, the medical establishment must redouble its efforts to recruit physicians-to-be from a variety of ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds.

If we sincerely aim to make significant progress towards health equity, we need a diverse workforce of physicians in the United States.

We need to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to excel on the MCAT and take a significant step towards a career in medicine.

(Note:

For those interested, Sklar (2013) explores issues with the current pre-med curriculum and the continued use of the MCAT in medical school admissions decisions. Recently, Kirch & Petelle (2017) examined some of the causes underlying the physician shortage.

The AAMC also regularly publishes a report on diversity in medical education.)