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AAMC 2014: What's the Big Picture?


There are lots of topics being discussed at this year’s convention of the Association of American Medical Colleges. So, what’s the takeaway? We asked those at the heart of the issues: the medical students. 

Announcer: Broadcasting from the Algorithms for Innovation Booth at the AAMC in Chicago. The Health Care Insider is on The Scope, University of Utah Health Sciences Radio.

Interviewer: Joseph Kelly is a second year med student at Creighton University. First day of the AAMC. What's been the big thing that kind of stood out for you? What's your one big takeaway or your one big thing so far?

Kelly: The big takeaway is really how committed the AAMC is to resolving issues that student see, and especially as an OSR rep for my school it's important to see that they're trying to fix the problems that we have.

Interviewer: What are the problems that you have?

Kelly: As a medical student I think the residency slots, the lack of, is a huge issue.

Interviewer: Yeah, got you freaked out little bit I suppose?

Kelly: It does get you freaked out a little bit. The amount of weight that goes into your Step 1 score and getting into a competitive residency, I think, is a huge issue.

Interviewer: What could you do to fix that? Is there a better way?

Kelly: That's the problem; it's such a standardized test, that's it's easy to be like . . . you could exclude people based on that score. But, I think you're missing the whole human being, and it's hard to evaluate a whole person, really, unless you actually meet them.

Interviewer: By one test score. So if you were given the magic wand and the power to change some stuff, what would that look like, that process?

Kelly: I don't have a solution. This is something I think about a lot. I'm not a fantastic test taker myself. I think my MCAT barely scrapped by to get into medical school, but I think I'm a great student. So I think it should come down to your experiences. If you reach out to do research in an area, or if you spent a lot of time in a certain medical area, that should give you a leg up on the competition. It shouldn't knock you out immediately if you maybe slipped up a little bit on a Step 1.

Announcer: Sparking conversations to transform academic medicine. For more stop by our booth at the AAMC, or go to, University of Utah Health Sciences Radio.

By: Scot Singpiel

Scot Singpiel is senior producer for