Perspectives on medical school admission

William C. McGaghie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This article is the author’s formulation of important issues concerning medical school admission: that (1) in recent years, almost all applicants who have been admitted to medical school have obtained the M.D. degree and been licensed to practice; (2) given this high success rate, an accepted applicant’s economic security is virtually guaranteed; (3) the admission decision contributes directly to the formation of a highly paid, high-status professional elite; (4) the link between students’ academic aptitude for medical education and their achievement in medical school is weak; (5) schools pay lip-service to the importance of students’ character, motivation, and other personal qualities but continue to select students with high grades in science courses and high MCAT scores; (6) admission officers and committees often confuse selecting students with predicting their achievement in medical school; (7) two core values in American culture (self-reliance and competition) encourage the use of norm-referenced measurement in all phases of education; and (8) there are alternatives to the traditional approach to defining eligibility for professional education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-139
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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