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Biology education and medical education are under scrutiny. The essence of the critique is that introductory biology courses for undergraduates and basic science courses in medical schools overemphasize "factual minutiae" [(1), p. 1343] over the things that working biologists and physicians claim students actually need to master--specifically, critical thinking and professional skills (2-4). The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been accused of hindering efforts to introduce more critical thinking into introductory biology courses (3), and the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology course has come under fire for stressing rote memorization (5, 6). Are these criticisms valid? If so, why is there a disjunction between what future biologists and physicians need to know and what they are taught?
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