Oncologist and theoretician Jacob Scott argues that creative minds are weeded out by medical school admissions panels.
Scott said the tremendous growth of biological knowledge in the last 15 years or so has separated biological experts into disconnected pigeonholes. While it's necessary for true experts to focus on their particular area, it's also scary: "There's a disconnectedness we've never seen before."
He believes curious and creative medical students are the best candidates to be the "dot connectors"—for example, that will apply information theory to improve personalized medicine or champion the use of computer-simulated experiments. Unfortunately, those likely to see (or at least attempt to see) connections between disparate subject areas are likely to be weeded out in the medical school application process, he said. Most medical school admissions boards require near-perfect grades and MCAT scores. Students hoping for that MD are scared from straying from the beaten path and dabbling in math or computer science.