Frequently Asked Questions About APAP

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT):

Medical education literature notes that the MCAT is a predictor for the ability to obtain core knowledge in basic sciences and perform well on standardized testing. It fails to recognize other areas that make good physicians, such as empathy and the desire to serve. Many PA’s who are interested in achieving a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree are exceptional candidates. PA curriculum does not prepare the students to take the MCAT with only 54% requiring organic chemistry and only 4% requiring physics. APAP students have been practicing clinically for an average of nearly 6 years.

Recognizing that alternative measures that can be used demonstrate the ability to handle challenging curriculum and that GPA is more predictive of successful completion of medical school, LECOM has started a small pilot where we now consider alternatives for outstanding applicants who have not taken MCAT. The LECOM Academic Index Score uses undergraduate and graduate GPA in formula calculation with ACT and/or SAT Critical Reading and Math scores in consideration of offering interviews.

PA’s who have encountered the barrier of the MCAT in applying to medical school, but who have demonstrated excellent didactic performance as evidenced by their GPA, SAT, ACT and PANCE, now have a route to pursue becoming a physician.

Many applicants will have taken all of the standard medical school pre-requisites of physics, organic and inorganic chemistries. However, each application will be assessed individually with courses completed under ARC-PA accreditation standards for Physician Assistant Programs being considered and approved as substitutions as appropriate.

Clinical experience:
Completion of the PA curriculum and certification is required. By accreditation standards, this means that applicants will have had at least one year of clinical clerkship experience, though most applicants will have been practicing for some time clinically. Applicants may apply directly following completion of their PA program and certification.