M E D I C A L E D U C A T I O N Q U A L I T Y 24 NUMBERS DON’T ALWAYS ADD UP IN ADMISSIONS The College of Medicine deliberately and carefully looks prior to administration of the examinations.” Students who beyond numbers when looking for medical students who are do not receive an initial passing score on the exams are not a good fit for the school’s mission. able to continue in their progression until they retake (and Which raises an obvious question: If we don’t think numbers are important, why share them on these pages? “The answer is fairly simple – because these numbers pass) the exams. Unfortunately, medical schools and residency programs are often judged not on their students’ demonstration of illustrate that MCAT scores don’t have to be the be-all and knowledge based on meeting the proficiency requirements end-all of medical school admissions,” said Alma Littles, of the exams – and their ability to compassionately and senior associate dean for medical education and academic competently care for patients – but on their students’ average affairs. “College of Medicine students chosen as much for USMLE scores. what’s in their heart as for their intellectual prowess and That places pressure on those programs to focus on other academic pedigree have always performed on national, standardized exams, such as MCAT scores, when deciding standardized exams on par with medical students elsewhere.” whom to admit to medical school. All students at accredited M.D. programs in the U.S. As a result, medical school applicants perfectly capable and Canada are required to take the United States Medical of performing well academically, and who have the often Licensing Exam (USMLE) – Step 1 before entering the difficult-to-teach skills for compassion and empathy with intensive clinical-training phase of their studies and Step 2 patients, routinely are overlooked in the admissions process. after required clinical rotations have begun. Step 3 is given during the first year of residency training. According to the USMLE, “Passing results are based on “The good news, as the results seen on these pages indicate, is we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other,” Littles said. “Our students are smart – and compassionate.” achievement of specified levels of proficiency established COMPARED WITH STUDENTS AT OTHER U.S. AND CANADIAN M.D. PROGRAMS FIRST-TIME TAKERS CLASSES * * * - National Step 2 scores not available at press time.