AMSA On Call
  • Pre-Med Prerequisites for Taking the New MCAT

    On Call New MCAT

    The upcoming change to the MCAT also means a change to the typical pre-medical courses we are used to discussing. For many years, the "traditional" pre-medical courses have been a year of General Chemistry, a year of General Biology, a year of Physics, and a year of everyone's favorite - Organic Chemistry. But with the new MCAT, that will first be administered on April 17, 2015, additional content knowledge in upper division Biochemistry, introductory psychology, and introductory sociology will be required.

    The caveat to this change is that most medical schools are not changing their coursework requirements. In other words, you won't necessarily need to take these classes in order to apply to medical school. You will need to have the content knowledge, however, to take the MCAT. But of course, taking the courses will help immensely as they will provide you with an in depth study of the subject matter. But what's important to note is that not all of an upper division biochemistry class will be tested on the new MCAT, nor the intro pyschology and sociology. Rather, the AAMC has defined very specific content areas and has categorized them into 31 content categories that fall under 10 ...

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  • Lifestyle Medicine

    Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA
    Wellness Coordinator

    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

      Wellness Wednesday

    What is Lifestyle Medicine?

    According to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), lifestyle medicine is the “use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease.” This is a relatively new field and ACLM is a relatively new national medical specialty society. This specialty is a branch off preventative medicine as it is preventative, yet much more as well.

    As a physician, it would be great to have your patients use a non-drug modality with or without drugs to improve their health. Such non-drug modalities would include, smoking cessation, diet and nutrition, exercise, and stress management. As a nation, there has been a push for healthy lifestyles and “natural” medicine. As an osteopathic student, lifestyle medicine is congruent to our principles and practice methods. Even as allopathic physicians, lifestyle medicine can be integrated into practice and many physicians have already been doing so. Scientific evidence has proven a role for lifestyle changes in the management of some chronic diseases, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

    The following link is an article about lifestyle medicine and the benefits it ...

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  • What is Changing on the MCAT 2015?

    MCAT current vs. new chart 


    If medical school is in your near future, you probably know that, as of April 2015, there’s a new MCAT in town, appropriately termed MCAT 2015 to differentiate it from the current exam.

    While much of the popular conversation has centered around the new content areas of biochemistry, psychology, and sociology, we think it's important to understand not just how the MCAT is changing in 2015, but why the MCAT is changing, and why now.

    Why is the MCAT changing?

    Science and medicine have advanced at an exponential rate in the past 23 years, and so has medical education, but the MCAT has not kept pace since its last update in 1992. The new MCAT is designed to resolve this discrepancy and help address and improve the preparedness of future medical students.

    While the new subject areas will add a significant amount of prerequisite content knowledge, the new MCAT structure will also more accurately evaluate a student’s ability to apply this content.

    Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)

    This section, much like the current MCAT's Verbal Reasoning section, will test no prior knowledge. In fact, none of the passages will contain any hard science. ...

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  • Building connections on the SeaCouver tour

    Diana Huang

    MD / MA in Urban Bioethics candidate
    Temple University School of Medicine 

    This summer, a group of medical and premedical students from the U.S. and Canada, led by coordinators Lina Brinker, M4 and Pooja Aysola, R2, embarked on a five day exploration of the U.S. and Canadian health care systems called SeaCouver. What’s with the name? Taking advantage of geography, half of the program took place in Seattle, WA, while the other half occurred just across the border in Vancouver, B.C.

    I was lucky enough to be part of this group. Here are the top 5 highlights of my experience:

    5) Learning about single payer from a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Dr. John Geyman. The program kicked off at the University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center with a lively discussion of the health system in the U.S. today and why it needs to change beyond the Affordable Care Act. Also joining us were the co-founders of the Western Washington chapter of PNHP, Dr. Hugh Foy and Dr. David McLanahan.

    4) Visiting Insite. Our first stop in Vancouver, Insite is an incredible organization that connects people with health care services. The first ...

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  • Medical Student Reaction to Ferguson

    Gabriel Edwards
    MS3, Oregon Health and Science University
    Member, AMSA Health Care For All Steering Committee

    Like many of you, I have followed the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Thanks to an almost unlimited amount of media outlets today, what has transpired in that St. Louis suburb has been placed into numerous narratives. There’s the narrative about our nation’s troubled history of race relations. The narrative about the effects of both the drug war and the war against terror on the militarization of police forces throughout the country. The narrative about the gentrification of our major cities, with the economically disadvantaged increasingly relocated to suburbs like Ferguson. There’s the narrative about the way the media itself has portrayed the events, and how the various factions have used the media to further their goals, rightly or wrongly. There are the attempts to draw parallels between Ferguson and Gaza. And, last but not least, there’s the narrative that puts Ferguson in the context of not only race relations but, more broadly, class relations. Approximately 50 million Americans were uninsured at the time the ACA was signed into law. Approximately 50 million Americans are poor today.

    I sit on the steering committee for the ...

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