The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a test that hasn’t been revised in over 20 years, will be getting an overhaul come 2015. Two new sections will be added that will place focus on critical thinking and the sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health—increasing the length of the test from about 5.5 hours to 6.5 hours. The writing section, however, will be eliminated.

“Being a good doctor is about more than scientific knowledge,” says Darrell Kirch, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges in a news release. “It also requires an understanding of people.”

As of 2015, the MCAT will continue to test a student’s knowledge of the natural sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, and biochemistry, but there will be a new emphasis on the basic principles of psychology, behavior, and sociology.

The revised test will also evaluate a student’s understanding of basic research methods, statistics, and ability to comprehend, evaluate, and apply information. The committee examining the current MCAT chose to eliminate the writing section in the 2015 MCAT because they found the section offered medical school admissions departments little information about an applicant’s qualifications for medical school.

The evolving demography of the U.S. population calls for physicians to not only have a better understanding of human health, but also to be able to interpret and apply new research to their patients.  

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…as an experienced physician, do you feel the changes to the MCAT will better reflect the skills necessary to be good doctor? What other changes to the test would you make?