Premed students call for MCAT to go virtual

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Premedical students in the U.S. and Canada are urging the Association of American Medical Colleges to move the Medical College Admission Test online or make the test optional during the pandemic.

In a July 12 letter to the association, Students for Ethical Admissions argued that adequate screening protocols aren't in place at MCAT testing centers and that in-person testing poses a risk to students health and safety. The group cited at least three instances in which students have tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting a testing center.

The association first responded to premed students' concerns — voiced before the formal letter was written — in a July 10 statement

"We want examinees and applicants to know that we have established procedures and protocols to protect the health and safety of examinees," AAMC said, adding that it would continue in-person testing "to protect the integrity and fairness of the test for all examinees."

Students for Ethical Admissions also shared an open letter to medical schools July 12, urging them to adopt policies to support students who feel they cannot safely take the MCAT this summer. Some schools, including Stanford (Calif.) University, already waived the MCAT requirement this year.

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