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Should I Do a BS/MD Program?

When looking at medical schools, many of us have heard of different terms for the same programs, like guaranteed admission or BS/MD programs, that combine medical school with undergrad to finish it in a shorter period than the traditional 4 years of undergrad and 4 years of medical school. BS/MD programs can often be a good choice for pre-med students who are sure that they want to pursue medicine and will not change their minds in the future as the number of people for these programs is often limited. Additionally, many BS/MD programs do not require having to take the MCAT since admission into a medical school after undergrad is guaranteed. There are also often fewer requirements for guaranteed admission programs compared to applying to medical school regularly after undergrad since many of the applicants are often high schoolers or first to second-year undergraduates depending on the program. The length of the program can vary from 7-8 years with some programs even being done in 6; however, the intensive coursework is something to consider since many programs require a certain GPA to be maintained throughout the program. Additionally, several guaranteed admission programs require students to attend the medical school part of the program, preventing other medical schools from being applied to. There are also financial aid options provided to cover the majority of the tuition, but most of this depends on the schools and the types of financial aid offered. More research should be done on the requirements for each program and the expectations once accepted.

To be considered for the program, being in the top 5 to 10% in your class academically as well as doing extracurriculars that are related to medicine are some ways to help. Doing extracurriculars not related to medicine like being part of the volleyball team or student council ever since the start of high school is also a good way to show that you can be committed to an interest for a long time. Shadowing physicians is also a good way to show your interest as it shows you know what physicians do and whether that matches your interests. Volunteering in medical settings is also a good way to match requirements for BS/MD programs as well as showing that you want to be a physician. Doing non-medical volunteering is also encouraged since the admission council can see that you enjoy giving back and helping in the community, which is what physicians mainly do. As well as buffing the resume, writing personal statements similar to medical school is often required for BS/MD programs. Make sure to research the program you’re applying to, and ensure your statement matches their values. For the students who get past the academic process, the interview is the next step. Practicing answers to interview questions is a good way to make sure you are not surprised by anything the admissions council may ask you. The CASPer test is another test that can be utilized in an in-person interview, which involves scenarios that the applicant must answer and justify their reasoning for doing a certain action.

The main thing to take away from these programs is to consider whether you want to be a physician for sure. Many applicants often drop out after realizing that what they wanted at 17 or 18 is not what they want later in life. The BS/MD program can prevent students from exploring other paths.

Thank you for reading,

Siri Nikku




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