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Med School Study

News Shorts

By Kathleen E. Mcdonough

Thirteen medical schools including Harvard and Yale will take part in a research study to look at the possibility of refining their methods of selecting students, a Medical School official said yesterday.

The 13-member Medical School Consortium last week approved a proposal for the formation of a steering committee to investigate ways to find pre-med students who possess the skills a physician needs to perform his job, Dr. Robert S. Blacklow, associate dean for academic programs at the Medical School, said yesterday.

These skills include the ability to solve problems, to deal with data and to come to conclusions. The committee also hopes to find ways to measure attention span and the ability to form hypotheses, Blacklow said.

"By dissecting how good physicians and fourth-year students deal with these problems, one could devise a methodology which could recognize, these qualities in pre-medical students," Blacklow said.

When the steering committee fully develops the experimental design, first and fourth-year medical students from the 13 member schools will take part in the pilot study, Blacklow said.

The Educational Testing Service, which administers such tests as the SATs, LSATs and MCATs, and the National Board of Medical Examiners are also taking part in the project which is funded by the Johnson and Macy foundations.

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