The MCAT may be the deciding factor for most U.S. medical schools, but does it really factor into your success as a medical student and a physician? Short answer: no. Long answer: you’ll have to read our blog to find out!
1) It Does NOT Indicate Your Personal and Professional Characteristics
If you want to succeed as a physician, you need to be calm under pressure and empathetic with patients. However, the MCAT can’t test for the professionalism of the test taker. This glaring oversight may be one of the reasons why some medical students with high MCAT scores are completely unprepared for their clinical rotations where they interact with patients and hospital staff for the first time. Plus, when you’re applying for jobs, other physicians probably don’t want to work with someone who has the emotional intelligence of a robot.
2) Residency Programs Don’t Care About Your Score
By the time you apply for residencies (one of the last steps medical students need to complete before earning licensure), the only scores that matter are from the USMLE. The MCAT rarely, if ever, factors into their decision. In fact, some residency programs don’t even require it. If residencies don’t care about your score, then it certainly has little to no impact on your medical career.
3) A Low Score ≠ Flunking Medical School
As a predictor for succeeding in medical school, the MCAT fails spectacularly. AUA students who received low scores on the MCAT have graduated summa cum laude. Many of them have been accepted to prestigious residency programs at Brown University-Rhode Island Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and many more. Ultimately, the MCAT creates a barrier that prevents potentially great and otherwise qualified medical students from pursuing a medical education.