Some ‘Underrepresented’ Students Don’t Have To Take Entrance Exam For Prestigious Med School

REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Minority students are exempt from taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) when applying for Penn’s medical school if they participate in a summer research program, according to a press release.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (PSOM) partnered with five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to offer a summer research program for “underrepresented” groups, according to the May 24 press release. Students who are selected for Penn Access Summer Scholars (PASS) are exempted from taking the MCAT if they apply to the Ivy League school’s medical program. (RELATED: ‘Dismantling Racism’: Top Med School Uses CRT To Train Medical Professionals)

The program is two years with two eight-week summer sessions and students receive housing accommodations and a stipend, the program description said. Students in the program do medical research, receive mentoring and clinical exposure and participate in community service and career seminars.

If they choose, students can continue their research into the regular school year and complete a thesis, but the program does not require that they do so, the program description stated. Students applying for the PASS program must provide undergraduate transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

After completing the program, students who choose to apply for PSOM are exempt from the MCAT and must have maintained a 3.6 grade point average and display “character, leadership and motivation for a career in medicine,” the program description stated. Letters of recommendation from faculty in the PASS program are also a requirement.

The MCAT is a nearly eight-hour exam which tests “physical and biological sciences, verbal reasoning and writing skills” and is required when applying for most medical schools, according to Princeton Review. The exam is typically used to gauge what kind of success a student will have in medical school.

Of the students who have participated in the program, 78% have enrolled in PSOM, the press release stated.

Students walk between classes in the Wynn Commons on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

Students walk between classes in the Wynn Commons on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

The PASS program is a part of Penn’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative “to promote and recruit a diverse, representative student body, including students from racial and ethnic minority groups, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and first-generation and low-income students,” the press release stated.

“PASS is not just about improving numbers, but empowering the education we provide and enriching the medical school experience for all of our students. It also contributes to the diversification of the workforce, which ultimately translates to more physicians of color in practice, which over time may help to mitigate racial disparities in medicine,” Horace DeLisser, associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion at PSOM, said in the press release. “Providing opportunities for URiM students of today is imperative if we are to build a future of health equity.”

PSOM did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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