Page 26

about the ways that psychology and sociology will play into their interactions with patients. Unfortunately, this update chose to focus on the rote memorization of theories and theorist names, instead of the practical applications of psychological and sociological theories. The last time the MCAT underwent a major change was in 1992. The introduction of the new section testing topics in psychology and sociology marks a shift in medical education and the entirety of the medical field. The AAMC is very influential in the direction of pre-medical education in undergraduate programs across the nation and bears a large part of the responsibility of ensuring that future physicians obtain a well-rounded education that will help them treat patients of different backgrounds. While the organization is to be commended for recognizing this shift and bringing it to the attention of undergraduate programs, it did not take the extra step of truly highlighting the importance of public health and the social determinants to the future of medicine and medical treatment. Of course, the responsibility of educating pre-medical students in the social determinants of health cannot fall solely on the AAMC, and undergraduate institutions must recognize their part in providing the best education possible for future physicians. As public health continues to rapidly progress and influence the medical field, it will be necessary that the AAMC continue to revise the MCAT to reflect this progress and that undergraduate institutions update their pre-medical curricula. Future physicians will receive a more holistic education and be able to utilize biopsychosocial treatment approaches, ultimately improving patient health outcomes across the board.



References [1] Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section: Overview. (2015). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from applying-medical-school/article/mcat-2015-psbboverview/ [2] Social Determinants of Health. (2014). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from https://www.healthypeople. gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health [3] Health Care’s Blind Side: The Overlooked Connection between Social Needs and Good Health. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; 2011. [4] Vela, M. B., Kim, K. E., Tang, H., & Chin, M. H. (2008). Innovative health care disparities curriculum for incoming medical students. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(7): 1028-1032. [5] MCAT Section-by-Section Breakdown. (2016). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from admissions/mcat-exam/2015-mcat-detailed-look.aspx [6] Lee, E. O., & Emanuel, E. J. (2013). Shared decision making to improve care and reduce costs. NEJM, 368: 6-8.

Š 2016, The Triple Helix, Inc. All rights reserved.

Science in Society Review - Spring 2016  
Science in Society Review - Spring 2016