The AAMC will be changing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in 2015 to ensure that students wishing to enter medical school are proficient in basic psychology.
On their website the AAMC announced that the MCAT changes would involve adding 59 new questions to the test to cover the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior.
These changes to the MCAT reflect the rise of multi-disciplinary approaches to the health professions, as seen in the increased popularity of Recovery-Oriented Approaches. These approaches are emphasizing that all health professionals should be trained to work together in order to better understand the relationship between mental health disorders, addictions, past trauma and psychological factors that affect physical and mental health.
Channel 12 News has reported on the background to these changes, which “will test whether someone with skills in the sciences possesses the necessary critical thinking and interpersonal skills needed for appropriate social interactions with patients.”
“The inclusion of a psychology component in an exam that was previously dominated by the hard sciences can be seen as a signpost to an important paradigm shift,” Channel 12 quoted Dr. Graham Taylor pointing out that
- Over a hundred million doctor’s visits have been found to result in mental health problems, making it one of the top three causes for people seeking medical treatment in America;
- Doctor’s are coming to embrace a more holistic view of health which includes attention, not just to physical issues, but to psychological and mental well-being;
- Psychology and medicine are increasingly being understood as needing to work together in a mulch-discipilnary manner