Are you Smart? Street Smart? or are you Book Smart?
The meaning of “book smart” is that you are DUMB. It represents a derogatory descriptive term to categorize people who have the ability to get an “A” but the inability to apply this knowledge to life. “Street smart” on the other hand, describes a group of individuals that can be taught anything and CAN apply the information learned BUT can not be taught through traditional methods of education. “Smart” describes individuals that can apply the knowledge learned AND get “A’s” on exams. These descriptions hold vital meaning when you look at physicians, standardized testing and the acceptance process to medical school.
Unfortunately, ability can not be judge, nor the intelligence of an individual based on their performance on tests. Getting the right answer does not correlate nor demonstrate skill or intelligence. The recent change in the MCAT’s demonstrates the failure of standardized testing to produce qualified physicians. The continued acceptance of book smart individuals into medical school has produced an array of problems in the health care system. Although one may argue that this is the only method where we can assess an individual, using grades as the measure of acceptance into Medical School has resulted in a massive amount of poor quality doctors. Medical school candidates are not accepted unless they get an “A”. The problem with this is that no one knows that these future Doctors are dumb until they graduate medical school. Only after medical school is the information supposedly learnt applied.
The recent change in the MCAT is an attempt to identify future doctors that can actually think! Time will tell if this will work.