Many students dream of becoming a doctor. It's a noble profession, helping people and saving lives. While most students go down the traditional path of completing an undergraduate, taking the MCAT and then going on to medical school; accelerated BS/MD programs are growing in popularity.
There are around 60 BS/MD programs that are offered around the country. Students either earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and a MD, taking between 6 and 8 years to complete both. These programs are competitive to get into and the program is intensive, with many requiring that students maintain a high GPA. The benefit of the BS/MD program is that students commence their first year of college knowing that they have been accepted into medical school. For many programs, the MCAT is not required, reducing some of the stress that many students experience when preparing for the exam.
BS/MD programs have different admission requirements and expectations. Application processes differ, with some requiring interviews and/or supplemental essays and others not. Some programs put more emphasis on standardized scores and GPA while others focus on the applicant's interest and commitment to medicine.
We recently chatted with a colleague who attend the Rice Baylor BS/MD program who provided his perspective on getting into the program and his experience while studying there. Here are his key insights:
- His academic profile includes being a solid student with As and some Bs; SAT test scores were 800 in math and 640 verbal; and SAT II scores were in the 700 range. He won a small scholarship to work in a research lab for one summer in high school. Many applicants didn't have research experience and so this set his application apart from the others.
- Volunteering and shadowing is great exposure to medicine and an activity that can help you decide whether medicine is really something you want to pursue.
- Don't be disheartened if you don't get into a BS/MD program, it does not mean you can't get into medical school. Those that study the BS/MD programs are a minority. Most doctors take the traditional study path - undergraduate degree and then medical school.
- The Baylor program offers great support to ensure that students succeed. If they see students struggling, they try to address it early and provide the necessary support.
- The program offers students the opportunity to major in subjects not typically pre-med. They encourage their students to study a variety of subjects with the intention of producing well-rounded physicians.
If you are interested in other BS/MD programs, Empowerly has a comprehensive list of BS/MD programs and their eligibility requirements that you can view here.
Aren't sure about whether to apply to the BS/MD programs? Read our post "Should I Apply To BS/MD Programs?" to help guide your decision!
If you are interested in studying a BS/MD and would like a college counselor with experience in these programs contact us below!