Blinding of Admissions Committee to MCAT Scores: Is There a Difference in Subsequent Medical School Performance Between Cohorts?

Yating Teng, Ting Dong, Steven J. Durning, Eulho Jung, Aaron Saguil, Robert Liotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is designed to inform members of the admissions committee about applicants' academic readiness for medical school. Although previous work has shown that MCAT scores have some predictive validity evidence for a variety of medical student outcomes, there is also a concern that the MCAT is overly emphasized by admissions committees, which may, for example, affect matriculant diversity. The purpose of this study was to understand whether deemphasizing the MCAT by blinding committee members to applicants' specific scores has resulted in matriculants with different pre-clerkship and clerkship performance. Method: The Admissions Committee from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) created a policy to blind admissions committee members to MCAT scores. The MCAT-blinded policy was implemented for classes of 2022 to 2024. This MCAT-blinded cohort's performance was compared with a previous cohort, classes of 2018 to 2020. Two analyses of covariance were performed to test for differences in the pre-clerkship and clerkship module scores. Undergraduate grade point average (uGPA) and MCAT percentile for matriculants were included as covariates. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in either pre-clerkship or clerkship performance between the MCAT-revealed and MCAT-blinded cohorts. Conclusion: This study found similar medical school performance between the MCAT-blinded and MCAT-revealed cohorts. The research team plans to continuously follow these two cohorts to understand their performance further down their education path, including step 1 and step 2 examinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume188
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

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