Talented and hardworking high school students who are confident that the pre-medical track is right for them might consider applying to BS/MD programs in addition to traditional four-year colleges. While students interested in medical school typically apply during their senior year of undergraduate study, students in combined BS/MD programs forgo the formal application process and immediately enter a specific medical school that is affiliated with the undergraduate institution. BS/MD programs typically take 7-8 years to complete. Here are three things to consider when trying to determine if a BS/MD path could be for you:
1. You can be “admitted” to medical school early.
Combined BS/MD programs are unique because they offer seniors in high school conditional acceptance into medical school. If you’re sure you want to pursue an MD, a combined program can alleviate a lot of stress during the undergraduate years. Rather than worrying about MCAT scores or maintaining a perfect GPA, you can focus on getting involved in research and developing other passions.
2. Your grades and scores DO still matter…
While being accepted into a BS/MD program includes a conditional offer of admission for medical school, programs are entitled to set standards that must still be met. For example, the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program, which offers students the opportunity to receive a BS from Rice University in Houston and then an MD from Baylor College of Medicine, mandates that students maintain at least a 3.5 GPA, both in science courses and overall. Students must also still take the MCAT, a test required of undergraduates wishing to apply to medical schools through the more traditional route. However, when you compare this requirement to the 3.88 average GPA of incoming Baylor Medical School students in 2017, you can see one of the clear advantages of the BS/MD path.
3. Applying to a BS/MD program is different from applying to traditional 4-year colleges
BS/MD programs are intended for serious and dedicated students who are able to decide on a future career path with clarity at a young age. As such, the application process for these programs is particularly demanding and requires specialized expertise and focus. Rather than merely evaluating you as a strong potential contributor to a college campus and an exceptionally bright student, committees for these programs are trying to determine whether or not you will make a wise and compassionate physician. These metrics are obviously quite different, so it is important to tailor your approach when applying. Our trained counselors know what it takes to be admitted to and thrive in a BS/MD program. In addition to strong test scores and grades, emotional intelligence plays a large factor in determining which applicants have the maturity and perspective to succeed; in this vein, Command’s medical program is unique in strongly emphasizing these emotional intelligence skills.