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I've really been struggling with this question - which would give me a better education but still make me happy (as opposed to suicidal), a regular four year college or a seven or eight year combined medical program?
I'm 99.9% positive that I want to go into medicine, but I've heard good and bad things about both options. It's increasingly difficult to get into medical school nowadays, with something like 30% of the nation wanting to go into medicine (or something ridiculously high), so people tell me that the seven year program is an excellent thing to invest in. However, I've heard that it's also really stressful in that it crams eight years of material into seven, and it robs you of the "one full year of the college experience that you can only enjoy once in your life." (Plus, seven or eight years on the same campus in the same city with the same people? Hmm..) Then again, I've heard that the process of applying to med school is also extremely stressful, and if you go to a regular college, then you always have to be on your toes and keep up your grades for yet another hellish admissions process. You can't take a year "off" to go study abroad, like you'd be able to if you were in the seven year program, because your place in a med school is secure... if that makes any sense. That was my friend's main regret when she chose Harvard over the Rice-Baylor program - that she wouldn't be able to go abroad her junior year because she'd have to stay here and maintain her rigorous studies. I'm not sure how valid that fear is but it's one all the same..
What do you think? Is appreciating the college experience is more important than feeling secure with a spot in med school?
Both of my siblings have gone the traditional way, and one advises me to stick to four year of college before med, and the other advises me to go to the combined program. I'm pretty split down the middle.
Also, are there any combined programs that you would advise over others?