Doctors Don’t Always Have To Take Pre-Med Classes To Get Into Medical School


You probably always thought that your doctor had to take a bunch of pre-med classes to be admitted into medical school. However, Mount Sinai Medical School accept approximately thirty-five students a year who have not taken pre-medical school course work into their medical program. This unorthodox practice is part of their special program known as “HuMed”. The HuMed Program admits humanities students into medical school that have not taken any science classes.

Traditionally,all medical students are required to complete core undergraduate classes such as biology, organic chemistry, and physics. However, Mount Sinai Medical School, admits students that have majored in subjects like Humanities, and never opened a science text book. Furthermore, all students admitted into medical school are traditionally required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT tests the applicant’s knowledge of scientific concepts, logical thinking skills, and writing skills. It is used to help weed out students that just aren’t cut out for medical school from those that will excel in medical school. However, HuMed students are not even required to take the MCAT.

While Mount Sinai asserts that HuMed students do as well as traditional medical students, data suggests otherwise. HuMed students tend to have lower test scores on the first step of The Board, and tend to take more non-scholarly leaves of absence. According to experts, non-scholarly leaves of absence may suggest that these students are questioning their career choice.

The fact that Mount Sinai Medical School accepts students that haven’t taken the MCAT or even any science classes makes me extremely nervous. I think that this practice sets a dangerous precedent of lowering the standards of those accepted into medical school, and those trained to practice medicine. There is a common saying:” What do you call a medical student that finishes last in their class? Doctor.” One might think that even if the students that haven’t taken the MCAT or any science classes, they can still excel in medical school and do well. However, these students may just be sliding through medical school, barely passing the Boards, and becoming doctors. It is a scary proposition that the safeguards, such as the MCAT, that prevent those unsure that they want to go into the medical field or that are unable to handle the material, may soon become obsolete.