So, I realize that there are quite a few threads asking for advice, I hope you guys don't mind this. I'm basically in a dilemna between miami HPM (7 year med program), and just going to duke for the traditional program. Basically my thoughts are
Duke: Great opportunities, people, an experience I might not get otherwise, greater political science opportunities ( that fit my interests)
Miami: Less Pressure, I dont like the undergraduate though,
What's the cost differential like? If you don't like Miami, you should not go there unless it's $200k cheaper or something. Miami may guarantee you medical school but Duke basically offers you essentially the same thing (85% acceptance rate to med schools) and its a much, much better school overall and for your major, not to mention a better social fit.
You can only go to undergrad and Duke is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Come to Duke.
yea, cost will actually be the same at both places-I received financial aid from Duke and a scholarship from Miami.
One more question: is Duke's average GPA for pre-med acceptance fairly low (around 3.5 percent)-will colleges understand the discrepancy is due to the difficulty of a certain college. I have heard both sides to that.
Yes, med schools do take into account the difficulty of the undergrad program when considering GPA. You have to take the 85% med school acceptance rate with a grain of salt, however. That figure is 85% of seniors applying to med school get into at least one med school, not 85% get into top med schools or 85% of freshmen pre-med go on to med school. A lot of freshmen pre-med never make it to be senior pre-med, dropping out along the way. They usually discover along the way that they don't have the dedication to medicine that they thought they had or maybe they found something else they'd rather do, but I'm also inclined to believe the tough pre-med curriculum accounts for some losses as well.
I think I'm gonna have to called mild BS on the whole taking into account the difficulty of undergrad thing. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But, it happens to a lesser degree and with a smaller impact than it's made out to be.
In some places (UCs are pretty famous for this), prescreens of the primary application is the norm and secondaries are only given to those applicants who pass the initial weedout. In those cases where the volume of applications is high, chances are initial screens are done automatically based on hard cutoffs in GPA, MCAT, etc and probably with minimal human input. So if you do a tough undergrad and get a 3.3 cumulative, you'll be cut in favor of the next guy who went to a easier school or major and got a 3.8. It doesn't matter that you are BME/Premed at Duke and he's underwater basket-weaving major at Podunk State U, the differential is too large.
On the other hand, when you make it to post-interviews and it comes down to your 3.5 in BME at Duke vs. the other dude's 3.8 in UBW at Podunk State, then differences in curriculum will be taken into account.
In short, don't bet the farm on the nebulous adcoms-will-consider-Duke's-difficulty thing.
If you're 100% dead set on doing medicine and are fine with going to UM, then go to UM. If you go to Duke you'll get a higher quality education in other areas in case you end up not wanting to do medicine. Even if you still do medicine and you do well, you'll have a decent a higher ranked medical school.
OP: it's not a reason for or against Duke, it's advice to carefully consider your strengths, your future plans, and how flexible you would like to be. It's also to make sure that whatever you choose, you are going into this with your eyes open and with no misconceptions.