New Publication Medical Anthropology Courses and the Concepts Tested on the MCAT

Can’t believe I forgot to mention this publication: Medical Anthropology Courses and Concepts Tested on the MCAT: A Content Analysis of 40 U.S. Course Syllabi.” Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development. This was a an Nvivo coding challenge. I worked with an undergraduate student (now working on their MA), to examine if medical anthropology courses teach content that is tested on the MACT. We basically created a code book based on the MCAT categories and coded course syllabi from across the US.

The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends students seeking to enter medical school complete courses in the social sciences. Despite calls to teach social science—including anthropology—in pre-medical curriculum, little is known about what is taught in undergraduate medical anthropology courses and if concepts taught in those courses addresses topics tested in the MCAT exam. Given the growing number of anthropology students in baccalaureate allied health fields, there is a growing need to examine if anthropological coursework addresses relevant MCAT topics.

Using a mixed methods content analysis, this study examined syllabi from forty U.S.-based medical anthropology courses to assess if MCAT concepts are taught in Medical Anthropology courses. Survey data was examined using descriptive statistics; syllabi were analyzed with NVivo using a binary coding scheme and modified grounded theory.

Overall, only 8.69% of 155 possible concepts and terms from the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT were present in the syllabi. We close with considerations for future course design of medical anthropology courses.

Download the full manuscript at the link below:

Stodola, Tyler J, and Sean P Bruna. “Medical Anthropology Courses and Concepts Tested on the MCAT: A Content Analysis of 40 U.S. Course Syllabi.” Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development, (January 2021). https://doi.org/10.1177/23821205211010812.

New Publication Medical Anthropology Courses and the Concepts Tested on the MCAT
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