MCAT takers face electronic fingerprint check

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 8, 2006

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

As the Medical College Admission Test rolls out computer-based testing, it also will begin using an electronic system to track the identity of test takers.

The new system will capture an examinee's fingerprint electronically instead of on paper, which is the current practice. Test takers will have their fingerprints checked before and after the test and when they arrive at medical school to ensure that the person who took the MCAT is the same as the student arriving at school.

More than 70,000 MCAT exams are administered each year. The computer-based testing and electronic identity verification system are expected to allow for a shorter test day, more test dates each year and faster score results.

Robert Jones, PhD, senior vice president at the Assn. of American Medical Colleges, which manages the MCAT, said the new technology would make checking a student's identity a simple matter of logging onto the Internet.

"We will use the biometric technology not only to improve the security of the MCAT but also to provide U.S. medical schools with biometric tools to verify the identity of newly arrived students," Dr. Jones said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn