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Medical School: The Wrong Applicant Pool?

Evidence-based medicine has become both the mantra of clinical practice and the dominant contemporary approach to patient care. Gordon Guyatt et al. first proposed applying the concept to medical education in the early 1990s, arguing for training that “de-emphasizes intuition, unsystematic clinical experience, and pathophysiologic rationale” in favor of “examination of evidence from clinical research”; over the following twenty-five years, nearly every medical school and residency program in the United States incorporated these methods into its training. During this same period, admissions requirements and protocols have continued to rely on subjective, non-evidence-based ideals largely developed a century earlier. In light of the continued underrepresentation of certain demographic groups among matriculants, as well as the national controversy surrounding admissions standards at undergraduate institutions—most notably embodied in the lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University—the moment may be ripe for a radical reexamination of those requirements.

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