Waiver for MCAT Exam gains support

August 6, 2020

The ACP strongly encourages waivers for the Medical College Admission Test requirement for 2021.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is putting the weight of their 163,000 internists, subspecialists, internal medicine trainees and fellows, and medical schools behind a push to issue a Medical College Admittance Test (MCAT) waivers for 2021.

According to a news release, the ACP has released a new policy statement “strongly encouraging” medical schools to look at their applicants from a more holistic standpoint and waive MCAT requirements for students seeking admission in 2021 due to challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

While the organization recognizes the traditional application process for medical school include MCAT examinations which have been disrupted by the pandemic, either through personal health issues and safety concerns, vendor-initiated scheduling changes, or difficulties in accessing testing centers. ACP says that applicants of color and those from lower socioeconomic groups are disproportionately impacted by these changes and that MCAT requirements during this pandemic will only widen disparities in career opportunity of these groups, the release says.

The move comes after three students tested positive for COVID-19 between two and seven days after having taken the MCAT, according to a story from medpagetoday.com.

“ACP supports the needs of learners as they pursue entry into medical school in the midst of the current COVID-19 public health emergency,” Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, president of ACP, says in the release. “Now more than ever, during these challenging times facing health care, we need to help reduce barriers for students who seek to continue their education and training on a path to join the physician workforce and medical community, which continues to fulfill a vital need in our country.”

The full position statement can be found here.