I never said I wanted to apply, given that I'm not even going to WUSTL. WUSTL isn't a fit for me really, I just can't find the connection to that school as other schools (maybe because I don't like St. Louis and my knowledge of WashU is not that much). Also I never said that they should change their program. I just think that the goals are a little too ambitious. However, I do believe WUSTL is a wonderful and tremendous school (and I really mean it) and that it is just as good as the top schools in the nation. I do like their academics but I just don't think it is much of a fit for me. I have many friend who attend and would like to attend. I do believe it is a wonderful school, but it just doesn't fit me.
Now back to the topic.
Again I never said that they should change their programs (and there has not been any implications about that), I just said that their requirements makes their program more obsolete because they still make the student study hard and feel stressed about MCAT and Med school applications. If you look at Brown's, Northestern's and Rice/Baylor, all tremendous school (which I would say IMO is equal in greatness to WashU because it is so difficult to rank one higher than another and because the graduates really aren't that superior to another), their program was made so that if you don't have to worrying about using your time to study really hard for the MCAT. The other programs also wanted you to be able to explore the subject you are interested in, and not have to be restricted to trying to find a major that will help you with med school admittance and the MCAT, I mean I have talked to students who study the major they really enjoy like psychology, journalism and other interest while still maintaining their main interest of medicine. Students could even study aboard for length amount of time in the field they like rather than having to study for the MCAT or worrying about med school acceptance. Also those programs allow them to have more time to volunteer and research and get up close experience with medicine while taking the stress of studying and the burden of the MCAT off their shoulders. Another benefit of the off time is that they are able to enjoy college fully and the freedom it brings rather than worrying much about their grades and MCAT, they can explore what they really want, if it is research, or study abroad. As long as they fulfill the GPA requirement, which is around a 3.4-3.5 and take the required courses along with volunteering and research, they are accepted to their med school.
I mean look at the HPME website it states:
The HPME fosters flexibility and creativity in the undergraduate education while [b]reducing the pressures related to gaining acceptance to medical school.[/b] Students are encouraged to take [b]advantage of the reduced pressure by exploring and challenging themselves personally and professionally[/b] to prepare a solid foundation for success in medical school and for leadership roles in their careers in medicine.
"There is absolutely no requirement to major in a certain field. [b]Students are encouraged to pursue a broad academic curriculum, and many take full advantage of that opportunity[/b]."
Brown's PLME says:
The PLME encourages students of medicine [b]to pursue in depth their interests in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences [/b]even as they prepare for their careers as physicians.
Pretty much what all of these program implies that they would like students to use their time to experience their second interest other than Medicine. They want to take their worries about the MCAT away. This I believe should be the true mission of these programs (and no I don't mean that WashU should change theirs). But I do believe in my opinion this is what BS/MD programs are suppose to be about, allowing students to experience another interest other than medicine and encourage people to take advantage of their time and volunteer and research.
Now this comment truly comes in my opinion and in no way to imply condemnation towards any med school but I really doubt that you can say with confidence that WUSTL's med school is a lot better or worse than the other top schools (in ranking). I just can't really see how they can definitely rank WUSTL above Duke, or Stanford or UM. I also can't see how they can definitely rank JHU and Harvard better than WUSTL and the other top schools. To tell you the truth I would say that the top 25 med schools are pretty much equal in prestige. In other words, I would say that WashU's med school is just as good as JHU, Harvard, Duke, Baylor and Brown. Not one is truly superior than he other. I don't think job search after graduation from anyone of them is not going to be a challenge at all and I believe all of the graduates can find jobs easily.Again my opinion and I don't mean in anyways to "put down" any one of the med schools. I just think that the 25 med schools are pretty much equal in strength and if there any one of them is really much better than the other, the difference is very small and difficult to detect.
I just wanted to share my opinion on the program, I don't want this thread to become a full debate. But I do encourage people to share their opinions, even if it differs.
Again I'm not saying anything about changing their program or about me applying to it ST2.
My main point is that their program causes a lot of stress for the students who, under other similar programs, are able to enjoy their college life while getting professional experience by using the large amount of time that is required to study for the MCAT to instead, volunteer and research and experience medicine on a much direct bases. I think WashU's program doesn't take much stress off the students at all and I actually believe that the GPA would cause more stress.
cdz512 - I think you are either being a bit defensive (understandable given the responses), disingenuous, or a bit of both. What I mean is of course you think it would be better if Wash U changed their program if you believe everything else you said. Specifically it sounds like you think they should lower the GPA one needs to maintain, and possibly you also think they should eliminate needing to take the MCAT, but especially you stressed the former. There is nothing wrong with having that opinion, and you made some very valid and persuasive points in citing the other universities' statements. Perhaps indeed it is something Wash U should consider, and it certainly at least is a highly legitimate point to debate. Maybe Wash U doesn't think those things you cited are as important, and if so they should defend that position (if this were an actual debate). Anyway, don't back down when you think you have a solid case.
But people *do* get their guaranteed rides into the med school, so it is attainable... It's just a lot of work, as it is probably meant to be. If they're going to hand out "get into medschool free" cards, and then stop considering the MCAT and lower GPA requirements, then how are they supposed to decide who gets the ticket? The med school just can't offer every competent WashU premed a spot, that's the problem. I'm not premed and I don't know what HPME or PLME stand for, but however much they want you to not stress over the MCAT, they still want some way to compare you to other students, and scores are pretty important to that end, although there are definitely other ways to make yourself stand out as well.
Herego, as long as the USPM program is handing out guaranteed acceptances, those acceptances shouldn't be some sort of "shortcut" that will help pre-med students who couldn't have made it in otherwise. It just makes the process a little less stressful, since you know exactly what you have to do, and I don't think that's "ridiculous," personally... Just me though.
Don Q - If I understand the program correctly, then I think you misunderstand it a bit. Undergrads have to be part of this program from the beginning of their freshman year, so only a small select group are subject to these stringent requirements. So it is not at all a "get into Med School free card" for all premeds, it does not apply to those not in the USPM program. In other words, a premed not in the program that maintains a 3.8 might get into med school or might not, but it has nothing to do with this discussion. If you lowered the GPA requirement for the program to 3.6, it still would have zero impact on anyone not in the program. It is only those in the USPM program that this applies to.
So yes, it is attainable, and yes, it is a lot of work. I think cdz's point is that it might be so much work to stay qualified that other, very important aspects of undergraduate life and life in general, things that might indeed help develop important qualities in a doctor, could get the short end of the stick, so to speak. Again, I think that might be a valid point and certainly one worth considering, and apparently so do these other very highly regarded schools he cites.
"It's just a lot of work, as it is probably meant to be. If they're going to hand out "get into medschool free" cards, and then stop considering the MCAT and lower GPA requirements, then how are they supposed to decide who gets the ticket?"
Fallenchemist is right, this program accepts students right out of high school. High school seniors apply and are chosen to be in this program. Only the people in this program receive guaranteed acceptance, other students with the same stats would not have a guaranteed acceptance.
HPME stands for Honors Program in Medical Education (sponsored by Northwestern University Med)
PLME stands for Program in Liberal Medical Education (sponsored by Brown University Med)
Rice/Baylor refers to the Rice University-Baylor College of Medicine Medical Scholar Program
The quotes in cdz512's post (#16) describe what the mission of most other combined programs is. To fulfill such mission, however, the med schools bear certain risk of letting in students that may not be as qualified as those who come in through regular admission.
In WashU's program, the requirements eliminate such risk. But they frustrate what other programs consider the primary educational purpose-academic freedom for the students. WashU's program therefore serves no real educational purpose. The only benefit that the students get is the increased chance of going to WashU med school.
There's nothing right or wrong about WashU's program. It's better than no program after all. It's just like a contract available to you and you are free to enter it and accept the terms.
I do agree with you on that the other med school do bear certain risk but I don't think GPA isn't really a major risk (although it could be).
See here, most Duke graduates that attend med school don't even have a 3.8 GPA, the average GPA is actually 3.55. Same goes for JHU, the average GPA for the students that were accepted to med school is also 3.55. The average science GPA for Duke student is 3.38 and JHU is 3.48. This is roughly a B+ average. In other BS/MD, the minimum GPA that the accepted students must achieve to stay in their program is around 3.3-3.5 (depending on school). This is not a big difference in the minimum GPA requirement. However I do agree that some students could potentially slack off a little too much. But for the most part I believe that the students that are accepted have no trouble fulfilling the requirement. My issue with the WashU GPA requirement is that it somewhat becomes difficult for students and cause students to study a lot during their time because it definitely is difficult (but not impossible) to maintain a 3.8 GPA at such a prestigious school.
I also have the disagree with your statement "In WashU's program, the requirements eliminate such risk."
See I believe that WashU's program does bring some risk, the risk of not being exposed enough to Medicine and clinical experience. When students have to study very hard to maintain a 3.8 GPA and a 36 MCAT just so they can be accepted to Med school, they don't get enough experience with volunteering and research, a crucial part of Med school. This is pretty much what I have be stating. The 3.8 GPA is very difficult at WashU to obtain and requires lots of time to study. The amount of time needed for studying causes volunteering and research time to be reduced, thus experience with medicine is reduced also. So the risk with WashU's program is that they would be accepting students who are "book smart" but have less amount of clinical and research experience.
This is the problem for some doctors that are working right now. There are some doctors that are so absorbed in their work that their communication with others, especially the patient is reduced. Nurses are trained a lot in patient communication but doctors are trained much less. A lot of the communication experience comes from volunteering experienced and when students volunteer less, their understanding of the patient and communication can be reduced also. Clinical experience is important because it allow students to be able to learn about communication with patients. Although this isn't always the case, I believe this is a potential risk with their program, the reduction of clinical and research experience.
Now I just realized you've been confused with one important thing: the average GPA of enrolled students at WashU is about 3.8 even if they are from top colleges. If you look at med school acceptance stats for, say, Duke students, you'll see the average GPA of Duke students that got accepted to WashU med school is about 3.8, not 3.3-3.5. The MCAT score would be around 36. Those GPAs you cited are for students that get into *any* med school. The GPA/MCAT requirements of 3.8/36 simply mean they only want the students in this program to have equal footing as those that get in through regular admission, as far as GPA/MCAT go. The risk I mentioned clearly refers to academic caliber, nothing else. It doesn't guarantee they would get the ones that would become the best practicing doctors. No admission scheme would guarantee that anyway. But at least as far as surviving the academic rigor of med schools goes, GPA and MCAT are the best indicators. Other programs don't require medicine/clinical experience either. Also, people are supposed to get their medical/clinical experience through med schools, not before going to them. That's what med schools are for. It's therefore a moot point.
oh ok, thanks for the correction. still seems wanting a waiving/lowering of the MCAT/GPA requirements is asking the program to be something it's not, as ultimately this stuff is probably up to faculty in the Med school, not the undergraduate program. I am (much to my glee) not pre-med, though, so this is out of my court a bit. :)
I'm not pre-med, nor did I read the thread entirely, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but to those talking about how to maintain a 3.8 and a 36 alongside research and other stuff: the whole point of having guaranteed acceptance is to take out the stress of applying to med school. At least the way I see it, that doesn't mean slacking academically or performing poorly on test scores (though "slacking" and "poorly" are relative here considering Wash U's elite status as far as med school goes), but rather that it takes away all of the other BS associated with med school admissions. I think not having to complete ridiculous amounts of extracurricular activities, research and fellowships on the side, and several applications to various schools including essays and whatnot is the benefit of being a University scholar.
It's by no means easy, but I think even maintaining a 3.5 at a school and still having to do ECs, internships/research fellowships/etc., and dealing with the stress of the application process is harder than just doing the straight shoot for a 3.8/36. After all, a 3.8 is not easy by any means, but if all you have to do every day is just study without anything else weighing on your mind, I would say it's entirely doable.
What an unnecessary reply to a 1.5+ year old thread.
well think about it. WashU's med school is one of the greatest in the country, probably even the world. You seriously think there won't be drawbacks to having a program like this? While I agree this program kinda defeats the point of the purpose of even having such a program, but just realize that no one is obliged to go through with this, and even having a program that can guarantee your admission to such a prestigious med school is still quite rare.
And you shouldn't underestimate the difficulty of admissions to a medical school of WashU's caliber. A relative with excellent grades at HYPSM and a 36 MCAT has not thus far even received an interview at WashU med. Thus, the advantages offered by the USPM program are real.
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