It's Time to End MCATs

It's Time to End MCATs

The University of Denver will no longer require students to submit SAT or ACT scores with their applications joining 1000 other universities making the change. National studies found that high school grades are the best predictor of a student’s future college success, and standardized test scores have a low correlation with persistence and graduation.

It's time we end MCATs as a requirement for medical school admission as well. Here's why:

  1. While performance on the MCAT arguably correlates with graduation from medical school, it does not correlate with peformance as a doctor throughout a career.

  2.  MCAT scores are predictive of student performance on the USMLE exams, but, given the small effect sizes, should be considered as part of the holistic view of the student.

  3. They favor those with the resources and social capital to successfully compete and interfere with the goal of achieving equity, diversity and inclusion in medical school classes.

  4. The test does not included measuring knowledge, skills, abilities and compentencies required of potential doctors to win the 4th industrial revolution.

  5. They add cost to already debt laden students.

  6. They add stress to already stressed premeds.

  7. They focus on recall instead of creative problem solving.

  8. They are a small part of instilling an ethos of life long learning.

  9. They eliminate students who would otherwise be successful doctors.

  10. They do not take into account the numbers of students who have less and less intention of practicing medicine for an entire career, but, instead, will be become clinical drop outs to pursue alternative non-clinical career opportunities.

Medical schools face 5 big issues.

Eliminating the MCATs is but one part of how we should reform medical education. Free tuition alone won't fix many of the problems.

Four key arguments make the case for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Eliminating the MCATs is another step in that direction.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at Twitter@ArlenMD.

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  • Sarah Cunningham

    Invest in today, and the future will take care of itself.

  • Laura Hunt

    I have a child with Autism who struggles with testing so of course he ranks lower than his peers in some areas however in maths and science he is well above but because he doesn't 'test well' it doesn't show. Everything these days relies on what you are on paper and not as a person.

  • Gary Robson

    You are right !

  • Adan Martinez

    Thoughtful read

  • Keith Balboa

    Standardised tests just show how well you can memorize information in a short amount of time. It doesn't show your full potential.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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