The profession of medicine has an obligation to act in the best interest of the public’s health and welfare, and the admissions process to medical school should reflect that obligation. We support the AAMC’s revised approach to test administration during the pandemic and believe the safety protocols put in place minimize risk for examinees and are consistent with sound public health principles and data.
While the Council of Deans Administrative Board does not preclude the individual action of any school, we do not support making the MCAT optional for the 2021 admissions cycle. Such action at this point risks introducing inequity into the review processes already underway at medical schools and could ultimately disadvantage students from underrepresented and lower socioeconomic backgrounds who have yet to take the test this year.
As a validated and standardized measure of whether an individual has the basic knowledge and skills to study medicine, the MCAT examination is of great value within the holistic admissions process for medical school and in meeting our public obligation to select qualified, diverse individuals to enter medical school each fall. We encourage the AAMC to remain open to options for future MCAT test administration cycles depending on the status of the pandemic.