Until this year, the MCAT hadn’t had any major revisions since 1991. Since then, lots has changed in the medical world, and the new MCAT2015 aims to address some of those dramatic changes with its new Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section. In today’s world, physicians need to know how to communicate with and serve an increasingly diverse population. They need a clear understanding of how behavior impacts health. When you prepare for this new MCAT section, you’ll also be preparing yourself for work as a modern doctor.
AAMC published a report a few years ago in which they talk extensively about the growing importance of the social sciences for medical professionals.
The Executive Summary of the report states: “Just as there are well-established sciences and scientific communities that focus on physical and biological factors that influence health and disease, there are robust sciences and scientific communities that focus on behavioral and social factors….The goal in providing rigorous training in social and behavioral sciences is to equip medical trainees with behavioral and social science-derived knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to practice medicine effectively.”
So what does the new Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section test?
(This following is taken straight from the AAMC website.)
This section is designed to
• test psychology, sociology, and biology concepts that provide a solid foundation for learning in medical school about the behavioral and sociocultural determinants of health;
• test concepts taught at many colleges and universities in first-semester psychology and sociology courses;
• test biology concepts that relate to mental processes and behavior that are taught at many colleges and universities in introductory biology;
• test basic research methods and statistics concepts described by many baccalaureate faculty as important to success in introductory science courses;
• and require you to demonstrate your scientific inquiry and reasoning, research methods, and statistics skills as applied to the social and behavioral sciences.
It’s important for students to understand that these changes to the exam tell the story of the changing medical field. Students must adapt their test prep plan to these changes, as well as their attitudes as they prepare for a future in medicine.
Are you looking for more information in the new MCAT? Do you need help preparing for the MCAT2015? View our webinar The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today for practical advice on how to prep for, take, and ace the MCAT!
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