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Prerequisite Courses

The AAMC undertook a survey in February 2012 of medical school admission directors/representatives, known as the Bridge Solution Survey, in an attempt to find an agreed upon set of minimal prerequisite courses at all schools. Although the end result did not produce this, the survey did find that over 75% of schools were interested in reviewing their prerequisites. Several medical schools have begun reviewing their prerequisite courses and have adopted or are in the process of adopting new admissions criteria, including updating their required/recommended courses, deciding to only require terminal courses, using course competency mapping tools, accepting novel curricula, or some combination of these innovations. Each school will need to determine the best model for their program, and AAMC believes what is key is flexibility, innovation, and getting started as soon as possible.

How do medical schools begin this process?

Many have begun by bringing together major stakeholders for discussions. Ask questions: Are these courses the right ones to enter our program? Are there other courses that teach updated, relevant information and skills that we are missing? Can competencies be gained and measured outside of coursework? Are we able to revamp some courses with new curricula more relevant and germane to today's pre health education?

These are questions that the AAMC is also addressing. We continue to examine what is possible, what choices are available, what innovative approaches already exist and work, and what is the outcome on the applicant pool when these changes are made.

As we has information to share, we will continue to do so either here on our website, through email, print communication, and/or at upcoming meetings. Please contact us to share your stories – whether they are successes or challenges – as we all stand to benefit by learning from one another.