AMSA On Call
  • What is Changing on the MCAT 2015?

    MCAT current vs. new chart 


    If medical school is in your near future, you probably know that, as of April 2015, there’s a new MCAT in town, appropriately termed MCAT 2015 to differentiate it from the current exam.

    While much of the popular conversation has centered around the new content areas of biochemistry, psychology, and sociology, we think it's important to understand not just how the MCAT is changing in 2015, but why the MCAT is changing, and why now.

    Why is the MCAT changing?

    Science and medicine have advanced at an exponential rate in the past 23 years, and so has medical education, but the MCAT has not kept pace since its last update in 1992. The new MCAT is designed to resolve this discrepancy and help address and improve the preparedness of future medical students.

    While the new subject areas will add a significant amount of prerequisite content knowledge, the new MCAT structure will also more accurately evaluate a student’s ability to apply this content.

    Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)

    This section, much like the current MCAT's Verbal Reasoning section, will test no prior knowledge. In fact, none of the passages will contain any hard science. ...

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  • Building connections on the SeaCouver tour

    Diana Huang

    MD / MA in Urban Bioethics candidate
    Temple University School of Medicine 

    This summer, a group of medical and premedical students from the U.S. and Canada, led by coordinators Lina Brinker, M4 and Pooja Aysola, R2, embarked on a five day exploration of the U.S. and Canadian health care systems called SeaCouver. What’s with the name? Taking advantage of geography, half of the program took place in Seattle, WA, while the other half occurred just across the border in Vancouver, B.C.

    I was lucky enough to be part of this group. Here are the top 5 highlights of my experience:

    5) Learning about single payer from a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Dr. John Geyman. The program kicked off at the University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center with a lively discussion of the health system in the U.S. today and why it needs to change beyond the Affordable Care Act. Also joining us were the co-founders of the Western Washington chapter of PNHP, Dr. Hugh Foy and Dr. David McLanahan.

    4) Visiting Insite. Our first stop in Vancouver, Insite is an incredible organization that connects people with health care services. The first ...

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  • Medical Student Reaction to Ferguson

    Gabriel Edwards
    MS3, Oregon Health and Science University
    Member, AMSA Health Care For All Steering Committee

    Like many of you, I have followed the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Thanks to an almost unlimited amount of media outlets today, what has transpired in that St. Louis suburb has been placed into numerous narratives. There’s the narrative about our nation’s troubled history of race relations. The narrative about the effects of both the drug war and the war against terror on the militarization of police forces throughout the country. The narrative about the gentrification of our major cities, with the economically disadvantaged increasingly relocated to suburbs like Ferguson. There’s the narrative about the way the media itself has portrayed the events, and how the various factions have used the media to further their goals, rightly or wrongly. There are the attempts to draw parallels between Ferguson and Gaza. And, last but not least, there’s the narrative that puts Ferguson in the context of not only race relations but, more broadly, class relations. Approximately 50 million Americans were uninsured at the time the ACA was signed into law. Approximately 50 million Americans are poor today.

    I sit on the steering committee for the ...

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  • Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal

    By Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA
    Wellness Coordinator
    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

    Wellness Wednesday

    How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? BUT how many of us actually eat a good breakfast. I can confess that I don’t always eat breakfast because there just isn’t enough time in the day as a medical student. However, eating well plays a very important part in your overall wellness. Here are two recipes for making oatmeal, which is a very healthy, nutritious and filling breakfast. One recipe uses a refrigerator for cold oatmeal and the other uses a slow cooker for hot oatmeal. Enjoy!

    1) Cold Oatmeal

    Materials/ Ingredients
    Mason jar
    ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
    1/8 cup flax seed
    ¼ cup steel cut oats

    For Blueberry Lemonade flavor
    Blueberry yogurt
    ½ cup blueberries
    ½ tsp lemon extract

    For Apple Crisp flavor
    Vanilla yogurt
    1 cup applesauce
    Ground cinnamon

    For Peaches and Cream flavor
    Peach yogurt
    ½ can sliced peaches
    Splash of Vanilla

    For Tropical Mango flavor
    Mango Yogurt
    Splash of Vanilla
    Diced Mango
    Milk or Coconut milk

    For Fresh Raspberry flavor
    Raspberry yogurt
    Fresh raspberries
    Drizzle of Honey

    For A Pie ‘n’ ...

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  • Pre-Med Checklist from Kaplan MCAT Experts

    Medical school admissions are extremely competitive: more people are taking the MCAT and applying to medical school than ever before. How can you stand out in the crowd and gain a competitive edge over your competition?

    Looking ahead is the best first step on your path to MCAT and medical school victory. Our Kaplan MCAT experts have created a checklist to ensure you make the most of the 2014-2015 school year.

    __ Get involved in your local AMSA chapter!
    __ Meet with a pre-med advisor to obtain information to assist you in the application process
    __ Explore the differences between allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools
    __ Obtain information from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
    __ Look through the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) and College Information Book (CIB) to get an overview of possible schools to apply to
    __ Evaluate the medical schools and develop your initial list of schools.
    __ Create a schedule of deadlines, including test registration dates, application deadlines (you’ll have primary and secondary application deadlines) and financial aid deadlines
    __ Take a free ...

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