The number of applicants to McGill’s medical program 50 per cent higher this year and officials are attributing that growth to the fact that they dropped the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) requirement. The number of students vying for the program’s 183 spots rose from 1,689 last year to 2,538 this year. Only 500 will be interviewed.
“It was successful beyond our wildest dreams,” Dr. Saleem Razack, assistant dean of admissions, equity and diversity at McGill told the Montreal Gazette, referring to the decision to drop the test that most English-Canadian medical schools and nearly all American medical schools require. “The MCAT is seen as a barrier — it is expensive to write and we find our new multiple mini interviews have a great ability to predict the future performance (of applicants).” It’s especially problematic for francophone students, he says, as there is no French-language MCAT test.
Dr. Maureen Shandling, former associate dean of admissions at the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto told the newspaper she doesn’t believe that multiple mini interviews can replace the MCAT entirely. Instead, she says multiple mini interviews should be “complementary.”