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  • Virtual Cadavers in Training

    The first time you touch a cadaver is unforgettable for most medical students. But across the country, future physicians are beginning to use virtual cadavers. Is the experience the same as feeling an actual human body, skin, and organs?

    Virtual cadavers range from a simpler tablet app to a large 3-D dissection table that are build by Web designers and come from scanning an actual cadaver. The technology is improving every day and it allows students to study 24-7, whereas many cadaver labs host limited hours on campus.

    But there are limitations as well. With a virtual cadaver you can’t move a muscle and look underneath it or get the chance to feel the internal organs. But advocates for the technology say that virtual cadavers are simply an addition to the traditional training and won’t replace actual cadavers.

    Have you used a virtual cadaver? Tell us about the experience. Do you think using virtual cadavers will make medical training better?

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  • Match Day: Like Sorority Rush?

    By Owen Farcy
    Kaplan Test Prep

    Last week's Match Day saw many celebrations throughout the country as 4th year medical students learned where they'll be spending their residency years. A quick glance at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on Friday saw countless photos of students laughing, jumping for joy, and even a handful of proposals as long-awaited envelopes were opened.

    The National Residency Matching Process, more commonly known simply as "the Match", is a process that combines feelings of excitement and trepidation in much the same way as the medical school application process. Kaplan's Emily Hause, a current medical student and regular writer for the Med School Pulse blog, describes the Match as similar to sorority rush. "They have a secret list of ideal candidates and you have your ranked lists of ideal places to end up. However, unlike some sororities, the NRMP is very official and explicit in their selection process."

    The algorithm used in the Match, according to the NRMP website, "begins with an attempt to match an applicant to the program most preferred on that applicant’s rank order list (ROL). If the applicant cannot be matched to that first choice program, an attempt is made to place ...

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  • Single Accreditation System for MDs and DOs

    Recently, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have agreed to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) programs in the U.S. After months of discussion, the allopathic and osteopathic medical communities have committed to work together to prepare future generations of physicians with the highest quality GME, ultimately helping to ensure the quality and safety of health care delivery.

    The single accreditation system will allow graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies. Currently, the ACGME and AOA maintain separate accreditation systems for allopathic and osteopathic educational programs.

    Read more here.

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  • Three-Years for Medical School?

    By Vanessa Obas
    AMSA National Health Policy Coordinator


    Three-year medical school curriculums have popped up in a few of the 124 medical schools across the country. In a cost-effective approach to medical education, schools, like New York University's School of Medicine have started offering medical school tracks that eliminate the 4th year of training.

    In traditional programs, the fourth year is somewhat of a reprieve from the demands and rigor of the early years of medical school. In the time spent outside of interviewing for residency positions, fourth-year medical students explore electives in different specialties. It is of little surprise that the elimination of the 4th year of medical school (and its associated tuition and fees) is appealing considering the average medical school student graduates with $170,000 in debt, according to the AAMC.

    Presently, medical school costs continue to rise in face of the increasing need for physicians in primary care, a lower-paying specialty. Thus, three-year programs present a way for students committed to primary care to pursue that career path with less of a financial burden. Still, three-year medical schools cannot solve the problem of the hugely burdensome cost of medical education on new physicians in the US. The rise ...

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  • The Pulse in New Orleans

    By Owen Farcy
    Kaplan Test Prep

    Last April, we launched The Pulse, our monthly online series for Pre-Medical Students. Over the course of the last year we have covered a wide array of topics, from admissions policies to healthcare policy, making The Pulse one of the most popular events for aspiring physicians.

    For our March episode, we're breaking new ground in partnership with AMSA by taking the show on the road to the Annual Convention in New Orleans. On Friday, March 7th, the show will film live with a panel of medical students revealing lessons learned from their medical school experience. It will give attendees a glimpse into what it is really like to be in medical school, and best of all you'll get a chance to be part of the show.

    Of course, we'll have a variety of other seminars and activities for you to enjoy at Convention, so be sure to attend. Even if you can't make it to New Orleans, you can still save yourself a seat for the online broadcast of the show by visiting kaplanmcat.com/pulse.

    We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

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