WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Medical school students
with a humanities background are as successful as those with the
traditional science-based pre-med requirements, according to U.S.
The team analyzed 2004-09 data from students at the Mount Sinai
School of Medicine in New York City, which accepts students
majoring in humanities or the social sciences and does not require
them to take the traditional entrance exam, or MCAT. Of the 691
students examined, 85 were in the Humanities and Medicine (HuMed)
The HuMed students were compared to non-HuMed students in seven
outcomes criteria and performed similarly to, or sometimes
surpassed, their classmates with traditional pre-med
The study also found that HuMed students were more likely to
choose residencies in primary care and psychiatry.
The HuMed program at Mount Sinai was created in 1987 to
encourage students with a humanities background to consider a
"Our results show that Humanities and Medicine students are not at a disadvantage for having bypassed standard pre-med requirements," study leader Dr. David Muller, chair of the department of medical education, said in a Mount Sinai news release.
"In fact, a liberal arts background may provide these students with enhanced communications skills and improved bedside manner. These students also have a heightened interest in primary care, which is important considering the nationwide shortage of primary care physicians," he added.
The study appears in the August issue of the journal
There's more on physician training at the
American Medical Association.