WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MED SCHOOL ADMISSIONS?
The 2020-2021 medical school admissions cycle has been marked by the coronavirus pandemic and massive social change. Existing inequities in the admissions process have only been amplified, and students who identify as being part of groups that are historically underrepresented in medicine are being prevented from pursuing careers in medicine. Below, you will find links to our original document of concerns, our additional open letters and emails sent since then, and our spreadsheet tracker for med school admissions policies.
After surveying over 200 of our peers, we developed 3 short-term goals that will make this admissions cycle safer and more equitable to premedical students. These were initially emailed to medical schools, deans, and the AAMC on June 28, 2020. Though some of our direct goals and aims have changed over time, our original thoughts still guide us. These are:
1) #WaiveTheMCAT: Join several other excellent medical schools in the decision to make the MCAT exam optional this admissions cycle, and mask previous scores of applicants (if they request) who were planning on retaking the exam this Spring/Summer.
2) #DelayTheApp: Delay application review/interview invitations until the AAMC addresses its verification backlog.
3) #CommitToChange: Work directly with premedical students and the AAMC to ensure clearer communication and transparency in future admissions cycles, as outlined by the Students for Ethical Admissions.
October 5, 2020
SEA supports MCAT optional admissions policies during the pandemic. But, we are mindful of the fact that AAMC appears determined to move forward as though there are no disruptions. So, in anticipation of AAMC releasing new MCAT test dates and a plan for the 2021 testing year, we have created a list of recommendations for ensuring fair and safe exams -- whether they are held in person or virtually.
OPEN LETTERS FROM PREMED STUDENTS
Case-by-case waivers are not a panacea. (9/3/2020)
64% of applicants who have NOT taken the MCAT yet (or are planning to retake) are NOT comfortable contacting an AdCom explaining their situation. (n = 130)
Of applicants who have not yet been able to take the MCAT (or who are planning to retake), 92% of them will lose >$1000 if their upcoming exam is canceled and they have to withdraw their app because medical schools are still requiring the MCAT. (n = 103)
Of applicants who have already taken the MCAT this year, 90% felt as though the circumstances did not allow them to accurately demonstrate their abilities (n = 154)
Of current medical students, 89% said that they would not have been comfortable asking an AdCom for a personal exception to admissions requirements while they were applying. (n = 101)
MCAT Test Centers are not safe, especially for students at higher-risk of complications from coronavirus. (As of 9/2/2020)
64% of recent MCAT examinees were not screened for coronavirus at all when they arrived for their exam. (n = 199)
0% of recent MCAT examinees were asked to provide proof of a negative COVID test. (n = 199)
7% of recent MCAT examinees underwent temperature checks (n = 199)
11% of recent MCAT examinees were questioned about recent travel. (n = 199)
24% of recent MCAT examinees were questioned about recent symptoms. (n = 199)
24% of recent MCAT examinees were questioned about recent exposures. (n = 199)
15% of recent MCAT examinees were asked to sign a waiver. (n = 199)
66% of recent MCAT examinees did not witness commonly used surfaces being cleaned in their test center. (n = 199)
50% of recent MCAT examinees did not witness their personal workspace being cleaned before, during, or after their MCAT exam. (n = 199)
27% of recent MCAT examinees said that masks were not enforced inside their test center. (n = 199)
20% of recent MCAT examinees personally witnessed test center staff violating mask policies. (n = 199)
29% of recent MCAT examinees said that social distancing was not possible in their test center.
24% of recent MCAT examinees personally witnessed test center staff violating social distancing guidelines. (n = 199)
POSITION STATEMENTS AND LETTERS OF SUPPORT
August 5, 2020
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS
August 5, 2020
AMERICAN MEDICAL WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION
August 6, 2020
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PERIOPERATIVE MEDICINE
August 7, 2020
American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
American College of Perioperative Medicine (ACPM)
American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
American Physician Scientists Association (APSA)
Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
Association of Women Psychiatrists (AWP)
Doctors for America (DFA)
Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)
Medical Student Pride Alliance (MSPA)
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National Medical Association (NMA)