FASEB Journal 16(4): A352 #251.1.5 (2002)
Small colleges are not in a pipeline to a particular medical school, so students must prepare for a variety of medical programs. MSAR course lists begin a 4-year conversation between students and advisors, but cultivating good medical students involves more than selecting courses. Students are connected with work/volunteer experiences that inform a career decision. Effective interview skills that can communicate commitment to a health profession may need work. Personal interaction is supplemented with a faculty committee that can send a recommendation based on knowing individuals. College faculty are not looking for packaged syllabi or to teach to standardized tests, but more specific information could make a good process better. For example, if mental spatial imaging skills that allow students to focus on clinical aspects of medical study are desirable in applicants, then that should be communicated to pre-medical advisors and students. We all want to nurture students who can think about complexities and implications in medical practice, so communication from medical schools about what skills are important for effective medical study is in everyone's best interest.
This paper was presented in a symposium , "How do we Locate, Cultivate and Admit Ideal Medical Students?", at Experimental Biology 02 in New Orleans, LA.
Last Modified: 2 May 2002