Diane Kuhn: A better MCAT may not produce better doctors

What does it take to become a good doctor? In the midst of a period of health care reform and primary care shortages, how we do to encourage talented students who want to give back to the community to go into medicine? Since the 1920s, the Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT, has played a central role in the admissions process for prospective medical students, helping admissions officers make tough calls about which students are best qualified to train as physicians. Initially developed as a way to reduce drop out and flunk out rates, the test now helps differentiate between applicants with near-perfect grades, college leadership positions and shadowing experience. But the MCAT is due for a serious makeover. (Balt. Sun)

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Harbor Point and Perkins Homes

City Councilman Carl Stokes plans to hold a hearing on a resolution calling on the developers of the tony Harbor Point project on Baltimore's waterfront to invest at least $15.6 million into the nearby Perkins Homes public housing development. It gets at a vital issue — whether tax incentives for downtown development benefit the city's poor residents — but does so by means of a number of misconceptions. (Balt. Sun)

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Rising waters

Last December, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an executive order aimed at focusing attention on rising sea levels and the damage they might do to Maryland roads and other transportation infrastructure in low-lying coastal areas. According to a Capital News Service analysis, however, O’Malley’s warning that 400 miles of state roads could be threatened understates the problem. Instead, CNS reports that “roughly 800 miles of roads would be affected if sea levels rise another 2 feet. At 5 feet, an estimated 3,700 miles would be underwater.” Those figures are dependent on some “ifs,” but the fact that Chesapeake Bay waters are rising — or the land sinking, or both — isn’t in dispute. (News-Post)

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James Campbell -- Replacing Alonso: How Baltimore can find the best

Andrés Alonso accomplished what few other urban school superintendents have been able to when leaving office. Considered one of the nation's most successful CEO's, and, after six years, one of the longest serving in Baltimore, he left while at the top of his game. In the 10 years prior to his 2007 appointment, there had been seven Baltimore City school leaders. The school board, which has said it will conduct a national search, will be hard pressed to find a replacement to match his success. (Balt. Sun)

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David Hanlin: Could privatization help visitors to MVA?

Like most, I periodically have to deal with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. The folks who work in the Hagerstown office off Sharpsburg Pike have a tough job. To help them, computer systems have been upgraded. Self-serve kiosks have been installed. Staff might even have attended customer services classes. (Herald-Mail)

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Dan Bongino: Why I am running for Congress

I am often asked: “Why are you running for Congress?” That question takes me back to the values instilled in me as a child who grew up above a bar in the inner city. Beyond the values of faith in God, personal responsibility and perseverance, I also learned the importance of principle and service. That is what led me to serve in the United States Secret Service, where I had the honor to travel the world as the lead security official for the United States government. That same passion for public service is the reason I am running to serve the people of Congressional District 6. (News-Post)

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Kate Livie: Eating our way to an invasive-free Bay

If you are what you eat, then the people in the Chesapeake were traditionally human-shaped collections of almost every moving thing that the Bay had to offer: muskrats, eels, sturgeon and its inky roe, raccoons, squirrels, woodpeckers, fishy mergansers. Anything was fair game if it kept the belly full and the body working. But in the last 100 years, as our land sense has faded and our supermarkets have multiplied, palates have grown quite picky. From the Bay's vast table, only crabs, oysters and a few fish species will do for our rarefied tastes. (Star-Democrat)

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Policy over politics

President George W. Bush has been maligned by Democrats and even many Republicans for some of the actions that he took while leading the country, but the words he spoke during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” are ones that all politicians — at every level — could learn from. Bush was talking about the need for immigration reform and said that reform is needed to fix the system. (Carroll Co. Times)

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