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A new study finds nonscience background doesn't hinder medical students

Thirty percent of U.S. medical students do not take a traditional premedicine path, and now there’s some research to prove what we’ve known all along: you don’t have to be a total science geek to do well in med school.

A study in the August, 2010 issue of Academic Medicine, looked at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Humanities and Medicine (HuMed) program. The program, started in 1987, accepts humanities or social science majors as undergraduate sophomores and juniors. Students are guaranteed medical school admission if they meet certain requirements, including maintaining a 3.5 grade-point average. They don't have to take organic chemistry, physics, calculus or the Medical College Admission Test.

Though they may struggle initially, the new study showed that HuMed students performed on par with classmates who met traditional admission requirements and were more likely to dedicate a year to research and to graduate with distinction in research.

About two in three students in the program sought residency training in primary care (49.4%), the study showed. By comparison, only 39% of their peers chose a primary care residency.


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