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***Official Thread for BSMD Applicants 2018***

texaspgtexaspg Super Moderator Posts: 16,581 Super Moderator
Please post here if you are applying during 2017-2017 season.

Courtesy @Roentgen

Questions you should think about for medical school selection

https://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/1/docs/advising/prehealth/New_Logo-35_Questions.pdf
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Replies to: ***Official Thread for BSMD Applicants 2018***

  • Empire007Empire007 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    @texaspg....I know 2017 cycle is over, but this may be useful for 2018 admission class. Was recently at the CWRU information session for HS students. Though the admissions officer did not specifically focus on PPSP, he did point out to those in attendance that for the 2017 admission cycle there were ~1600 applicants, 70 granted interviews, 25 offered admission and 16 enrolled for the fall.
  • 2FutureBSMDsMom2FutureBSMDsMom Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Hi all, this is my first post here and excited to contribute and learn from this group. I have a rising sophomore and as a parent I was overwhelmed after reading all the 200 some pages of the 2017 thread posts. Its a lot of information ,thanks to all the active participants who provide good information. I understand this thread has some of the smartest and focused BSMD aspiring Students, I would like to know if any of you took ACT as a sophomore? Parents,did your DS/DD took ACT during sophomore year?
    Did any of you needed to repeat it as a Junior due to low score? My DS wants to take it in 10th grade and get it out of the way so he can focus SAT for Junior year. With out any preparation he did score 29 as an 8th grader,so he thinks he can definitely get above 32 with summer preparation on his own using prep books. Is it a good decision to take it during fall of sophomore year? if yes, what score should he aim for in order to apply for competitive BSMD programs?Thank you for all the advice
  • GoldenRockGoldenRock Registered User Posts: 892 Member
    Depends on the individual. Some kids are good at ACT and some are in SAT and some are good at both but it differs slightly. Has she done Algebra II in freshman?

    My D did only in Junior year and took only once and she scored well. I know a friend's son who took in 10th and scored 36.

    Suggest to focus on the plan for the coming summer. Any activities to expose her to medical related to learn and understand the profession? Since you are starting at the right stage of HS about this program, that will benefit more.
  • 2FutureBSMDsMom2FutureBSMDsMom Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @goldenrock , thanks for your suggestion. Yes, my DS has done Algebra 2 as a freshman. He wanted to get involved in research this summer,but its hard since he is not 16 yet.
  • Undecided3494Undecided3494 Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    @2FutureBSMDsMom If you can't get research then try to find volunteer opportunities in a medical setting. Another option is to have him really study for the ACT this summer and put up a really great score so that he won't have to retake the ACT again. I just wanted to ask if he wanted to take both the SAT and ACT even if he scores really well on the ACT his sophomore year? I put in a lot of work over sophomore summer to get a good score on the ACT so I could focus on research and volunteering my junior summer, although I did use my Junior summer to study and take SAT Subject tests.
  • 2FutureBSMDsMom2FutureBSMDsMom Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @Undecided3494 thank you. Yes, thats his goal to do really well on ACT. He has plans to take both SAT and ACT.
  • DoctorTODoctorTO Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    @2FutureBSMDsMom depending on your son's objectives he may not need to do both the SAT and ACT. Some programs like UKMC require ACT if you are instate and some have a preference but most will accept results from either.

    I don't recommend devoting any significant amount of time to SAT or ACT preparation in sophomore year. For programs like HPME, PLME, he should aim for a 35 or 36 ACT. To be competitive for most BS/MD programs on the basis of ACT score alone, aim for at least a 33.

    With BS/MD, it's more important to focus your son's time at this point on seeking and participating in the right experiences instead of devoting a lot of time to test prep.
  • ecp510ecp510 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I have been waiting for this thread! I am a rising senior and have been looking at colleges for years now. I can not believe it is almost time to officially begin applying! :)
  • tripledouble2000tripledouble2000 Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    Hello everyone! I'm so grateful that someone created this forum so we can exchange our questions and advice with each other. I remember keeping up with the 2017 thread so I could get some advice for applying this year, and I can't believe the time is almost here to apply! I sincerely look forward to contributing to this thread and learning more about this process! :)
  • tripledouble2000tripledouble2000 Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    edited May 29
    @GoldenRock @Empire007 @texaspg and others who have experience of applying to bs/md programs, what would you recommend I, as a rising senior, do this summer to prepare for applying to bs/md programs in the fall?

    Currently:
    I volunteer at the local hospital on weekends in the inpatient wards.
    I have landed two summer-long research internships at the local state university, one specializing in gene editing therapeutics and the other specializing in psychopathology.
    I have scheduled to shadow two doctors for a week each during the summer: one works in the neonatal ICU and the other works in the urology department.
    I will be submitting a publication to a scientific journal by June 15.
    By this weekend, I will have taken 5 SAT 2 subject tests in Math 2, English, Spanish, Chemistry, and Biology - M. I have already taken both the SAT and ACT and am satisfied with my scores.

    Is there anything else I can do to prepare for the application process such as scheduling on-campus interviews or starting on essays? Any advice would be MUCH appreciated. Thank you! :)
  • Empire007Empire007 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    edited May 29
    @tripledouble2000 your experience sounds impressive. Taking your word for it that your standardized test scores are high. You will not be able to start on the essay until you know what the common app essay topic is and what the inevitable supplemental essay topic is (this is specific to each program). That information won't be available to you until application season officially begins. I recommend given all that you wrote that you start going thru all your extra curricular and begin calculating exactly how many hours you spent on each activity. This will be necessary for your application. The fact you are published in a science journal is a big feather in your cap. Start figuring out which teachers you plan on getting LOR from. Contact them and tell them your intentions and explain to them you are planning to apply to BSMD. If you have not already done so visit some of the campuses you wish to attend, more importantly when visiting try to schedule a meeting with the BSMD program administrator. They can be very useful in giving you a detailed picture of what to expect and what their expectations are for a "serious candidate". Some schools have specific SAT2 requirements. Make sure that you meet all of them. For example RPI requires you take SAT2 math 1 and math 2, my DC didn't realize that till the last minute and was fortunate enough that their was math2 test available just prior to filing the application. Also make yourself a chart with all the application deadlines, required SAT/ACT scores, requirements for volunteer hours (i.e. VCU was looking for about 350 hrs, other schools have different requirements) etc...remember application deadline dates are of paramount importance, make sure all your info is submitted and make sure that when submitting scores from college board you give them enough time to get the scores to the schools in time.
  • tripledouble2000tripledouble2000 Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    @Empire007 Thank you very much for your input, I really appreciate it :) I know you mentioned you will take my word that my test scores are high, but I would like to double check with you that they are sufficient for applying to bs/md programs. My SAT score is 1590, my ACT score is 35, and my PSAT score is 1510 (score index = 226, expecting to be national merit semifinalist).

    In addition, I have volunteered 100+ hours with a local organization dedicated to serving the mentally disabled community. I have also, as part of Girl Scouts, contributed 50 hours of community service to attain my Silver Award and 80 hours to attain my Gold Award. As part of Girl Scouts I also created a program to educate elementary school children about nutrition, though I am unsure how many hours I got from this. I also spent a week in Mexico with my troop, building a house for a homeless family in Tijuana. From my hospital volunteering, I anticipate getting at least 75 hours in before college apps open. Would this many hours be enough for most bs/md programs?

    Once again, thank you so much for your feedback and the advice. :)
  • Empire007Empire007 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    edited May 29
    @tripledouble2000 your standardized scores are competitive (I know 10 points from perfect on your SAT and I say competive may sound strange, but many students applying will have scores similar to yours). Your volunteer/shadowing hours are really dependent on each program you are applying to. That's why I said try to get in touch with BSMD program coordinators and they could clue you in on how much they are really looking for. Remember each program looks for different kinds of students. I.e. RPI/AMC looks for students with strong research background, UConn or VCU look for students with hundreds of hours of shadowing, Brooklyn College/Downstate looks for significant hours of community service and schools like Brown look strongly at academic background. Figure out which niche you are and sell yourself that way.
  • tripledouble2000tripledouble2000 Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    @Empire007 Thank you so much, you have been very helpful. I will definitely try to get in touch with some BSMD program coordinators to figure out what each program is specifically looking for and tailor my application to appeal to that program.
  • atx789atx789 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    edited June 6
    hello! I am a rising senior and I don't know if I should apply to bs/md programs. I currently have a 1460 sat (which I retook this past saturday and am fairly confident that I got around a 1500 on) and I have an unweighted gpa of 3.84 (weighted is 4.23). I am also taking the sat subject tests in august and am aiming for 750+. I have taken AP chemistry, AP calculus BC, AP physics 1/2, and AP psychology, and am taking AP bio, AP statistics, multivariable calculus, and organic chemistry next year. As for extracurriculars, I am in band (and am a section leader) and also did dance for 10 years. I volunteered at a hospital for 50+ hours over last summer, and volunteer at a health clinic (I have also shadowed a pharmacist at that clinic). I will be attending the National Student Leadership Conference in healthcare and medicine this summer, which will include more exposure to the healthcare field. Am I good enough to be considered for bs/md programs or should I just stick to the pre-med route? thanks for any advice!!
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