Rejecting a BS/MD program?

<p>@vbhasin</p>

<p>I am trying to emphasize that it is my observation that when you are considering any of the "top" programs there is not one best program. I personally believe that the Multiple Degree program that I selected is the best one - but I, like all of the other individual students place importance on different aspects which shuffles the "rank" of these programs. (Statistics can be found to justify just about any way to rank the programs.) So to make a short answer long, it really does not matter where I am and why I am there. YOU need to learn about each undergrad, medical school, and program that you would consider. Visiting is very important if you can possibly do it. What is the best fit for your goals? THAT one is the BEST one.</p>

<p>Likewise, a Multiple Degree program is not for everyone either. It is great that you know a program is not for you! Good luck!</p>

<p>To clarify, it is my opinion that a "top" Multiple Degree program is the best route. And in my program as well as a couple of the other programs in which I have friends, the program students did not, as a group, score lower on any of the evaluations, exams, or class rankings (where applicable). Likewise, in these programs where I personally know students, the match list was not lower for the students. In fact, in one program, program students fared very well compared to their peers for the two years that I have personal observation experience.</p>

<p>Again, these are my opinions and observations.</p>

<p>I don't think either side of the argument has a set advantage over the other. And honestly, that's going to be the way it is for some time simply because some perceived pros can be considered cons by others and vice versa. I personally think the pros have more weight than the cons for many of these programs, but then again that's just my opinion and how I view advantages such as no MCAT, guaranteed acceptance, opportunities for research, volunteering, and shadowing, etc. in the context of my future.</p>

<p>"UCLA Med used to have a program. Michigan Med used to have a program. Other programs are shrinking",</p>

<p>Do you know to have BS/MD students in the medical school will lower its med school's rank? because BS/MD students are not required to take MCAT. And MCAT score is one of the med school's evaluation criteria, therefore some school eliminate or shrink the program.</p>

<p>In my inquiry into the cause of closure of BS/MD programs at the Ohio State & Michigan State universities, their program managers informed that some?/many? of the (BS/MD) students did not perform at the level they were expected in their med school. In addition, at MSU, I was informed that a few students found other academic interests that were more enjoyable than pursuing medicine. However, many of these students continued with their BS/MD program in order to meet their family’s expectations, creating a poor UG & MD experience. Of course, these are only anecdotal evidence, since it was not possible to verify by obtaining factual data about the performance of their BS/MD students as a group. The Ohio State is in the process of addressing some these concerns, but it is not clear what the proposed solutions would be. Please note these are not sufficient grounds to reject any BS/MD program.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Do you know to have BS/MD students in the medical school will lower its med school's rank? because BS/MD students are not required to take MCAT. And MCAT score is one of the med school's evaluation criteria, therefore some school eliminate or shrink the program.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I fail to see how logically this works. It's not like medical schools with BS/MD programs are submitting MCAT scores of 0 to US News. All they're doing is averaging the scores from the traditional applicants. If anything, BS/MD programs make the med school more competitive by eliminating spots. A med school with 170 spots, 40 of which are filled by BS/MD applicants, can take the 130 best applicants instead of the 170 best applicants. Please explain how BS/MD students lower a med school's rank?</p>

<p>"BS/MD students are not required to take MCAT. And MCAT score is one of the med school's evaluation criteria".</p>

<p>Sorry for the confusion, what i mean is that when a med school reports the number of students in the med school, if fewer students have MCAT taken, then it might lower its evaluation score. It is not the score itself, it is the percentage of the med students who have taken the MCAT. </p>

<p>So you might argue that why still so many med schools out there still carry this BS/MD program? Because some schools think it is one of right ways to go. Even it might hurt its rank.</p>

<p>I don't think that's one of the ranking criteria.</p>

<p>i think a major reason people are admitted to BS/MD programs is because they show strong potential. All of the kids i've met in the programs and at interviews are go-getters. They're the kind of kids that even though they have a med guarantee, still spend summers in third world countries, and lead clubs around campus. They still balance a social life with the rigorous work. It's all about the individual. If you want to "coast" through a program, then you are you only hurt yourself, but the opportunity to have an early spot at a medical school that you WANT to go to, while still enjoying undergrad is priceless. The way i see it, you're afforded a huge privilege when you get that spot, and you still should feel like you deserve it when you get out of undergrad.</p>

<p>Thanks all of you guys for the help, but I think I've made my decision.
Im pretty sure right now, after talking to you and many others that I am going to go into the SBU/GW combined degree program.</p>

<p>refuting norcalguy:
1. Usually (with a few exceptions) the undergrad component of the BS/MD program is at a lackluster college. </p>

<p>I beg to differ. Yeah, the college may not be as high ranking wise, but is that really a bad thing? SBU has crazy small class sizes because its not as high ranking wise, and even though the normal % of admittance is high, the only kids in the bio program are kids in the program. Plus being at a "lackluster" college means you have more flexibility to do what you want to do (being one of the top kids there), and you have the ability to get the personal attention to get an MBA, or whatever else there is. Plus the competition is pretty positive. </p>

<ol>
<li>You are not destined to be a doctor. I know most of you have believed since the age of 5 that you would become a neurosurgeon. </li>
</ol>

<p>Agreed. But i disagree that at least some of these places (the one which I got in I know did) SCRUTINIZED your reasons for wanting to become a doctor. There was one girl in my first interview who had a MUCH higher GPA ( ~ same everything else), but she didnt get to the next round because it was pretty obvious her parents were the ones who had pushed her (she accidentally admitted it on the tour to me). Sure she was good, but she didnt get in because she wasnt completely sure she wanted to do medicine. For me, I see myself in other fields, but I know that medicine is my first preference by far. I have explored so many other fields out there, and I didnt even know 100% that I wanted to do medicine until the summer of my junior year after i spent 6 weeks shadowing (8 hours per day). I dont understand how highschool freshmen and even middle schoolers know now that they want to do medicine, because I probably wouldnt have known until a lot later if I didnt get lucky (and tried it out relatively early).</p>

<p>I know at other programs the interviewers look mostly at stats (UAB does this; I remember a mom coming in on cc and saying their kid got in; im guessing the mom was more excited than the kid), but you have to know which ones to apply to, which have a more holistic vies (USC, SBU/GW, etc.)</p>

<ol>
<li>"But, can't I just drop out of the BS/MD program and change to another major if I wanted to?" Maybe. </li>
</ol>

<p>I agree with this one. Thats why I think its really important that the interviewer make sure the kid is ready to dedicate their life to medicine.</p>

<ol>
<li>Now, let's talk logistics. You lose your edge in a BS/MD program. </li>
</ol>

<p>This is a worry for me, and I didnt realize this was true until now. However, I think it really matters which program you go to. Sure, some kids slack off, but i guess you need to keep tab on yourself and make sure you're working hard. (Topher said it better than I could've)</p>

<ol>
<li>The maturity issue. A good portion of med students entering med school the traditional way have taken time off. </li>
</ol>

<p>Thats why you go with an 8 year program. And the majority of med students entering med schools have not taken time off, though I admit some have.</p>

<ol>
<li>Theres a reason why med programs are shrinking.
I know that the SBU/GW has actually been expanding since sbu kids have matriculated into GW, so i guess thats a good thing. </li>
</ol>

<p>Thanks to everyone for helping me; going through these arguments makes me even more in love with the program. I guess the main concern that I had was what if I could've gotten into a better med school than GW, but it doesnt really matter to me; prestige honestly isnt that important. I truly believe that SBU/GW will make me the best possible doctor I can be, which is the ultimate goal.</p>

<p>@norcalguy: Can you post a link to that research? I would like to see it. I looked it up and could only find this:<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7012781%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7012781&lt;/a> , which only applies to the accelerated programs.</p>

<p>^ Congrats on the acceptance and good luck with your decision! I heard it's a very strong program, and GW is a solid medical school as well!</p>

<p>I also don't think that ranking or prestige of the undergraduate institution necessarily correlates to being miserable/happy. I strongly believe that it depends on how you go after opportunities, interact with others, and, in general, take advantage of what's there.</p>

<p>^agreed.
I talked it over with a friend (maybe mentor would be a better word) who i'm close to and has been through med school and practicing for, and basically what she said that it doesnt really matter what med school you go to prestige wise, but what you personally do. And after looking at med schools like UCSF, and Stanford (which would probably be where I would aim to go if I went the normal route), I really really like GW. Maybe its not ranked as high, but the clinical experience thing is pretty damn awesome, and not really available anywhere else. And it fits me; even if its not a stanford, it works for ME, which is whats important.</p>

<p>"My question to you is, what do you think are the disadvantages of a BS/MD program?"</p>

<p>-I do not see any disadvantages. I do not understand "the fact that they basically force students to settle." To settle for what? My answer is success. What is so wrong to settle with higher odds to be successful? I do not know about all programs. There are programs that allow any major, students having regular college experience, taking 4 years or longer in UG, participate in Greek, having minor(s) or double majors if they choose, going abroad..... just like everybody else. The only difference is that they know that they have a spot if they get requirements of GPA and MCAT (substantially lower than regular route, for example 3.45/27). And they also could apply out to other Med. Schools, while retaining a spot in the program. In addition, they have gone thru interviews at Med. Schools as HS'ers. Having all of this at the beginning of application process is a huge advantage. That is if they decided to apply out. Lots of them do not want to bother, they stay in the program. All programs are different, but one can research what fits the best.</p>

<p>^We have almost three pages full of discussions about the disadvantages of bs/md programs. Sir, there ARE disadvantages among the many advantages you have proposed.</p>

<p>OP was soliciting opinions. OP does not have to take mine into consideration. I was adding my opinion based on experience. Others have negative experiences, mine was positive.</p>

<p>It really depends on individual situation. We assume that the student knows that he/she wants to become a doctor here. For someone with steller stats with minimum effort, going into a BA/MD program may not be necessary. For others (top 2-5% in a large HS), a BA/MD program may not be a bad idea. I would say that it may be a good idea if the student is not a URM and manages to get a tuition waiver or better for the BA part.</p>

<p>"We assume that the student knows that he/she wants to become a doctor here. "</p>

<p>-Not really. You have the same flexibility in some programs as in regular route. Some programs have about 50% success rate, just as regular route. That means that while in UG, about 50% in bs/md program decided that MD is not for them. They have switched to something else. However, 50% that stayed and took care of requirements, do not have to apply to Med. School if they do not want to bother with process. However, for those who decided to apply out, having one spot at the beginning of the process is a huge boost to self-confidence and complete stress removal. And, since most of bs/md applicants do have stellar stats after HS, yes, good number of them have tuition waiver (or having Merit scholarships that cover tuition), but this is usually determined by UG college, not by the program, so it varies from school to school. </p>

<p>In any case, bs/md programs vary a lot and if one decided that bs/md is for him, then he better find a good fit and better yet have choices to pick up from (have acceptance to few bs/md programs).</p>

<p>^meh imo once you go to a bs/md program you're stuck there. Yeah, you can switch, but you can never get the 2 years of your life you spent at university of alabama that you could have spent at stanford or a better school. And honestly, itll be that much harder to get into grad school if you come from a crappy ug. </p>

<p>I would say that if you have any doubt of being a doctor, dont go for a bs/md. Its easy to back out and not be a doctor, but its impossible to recover what you could've gotten if you'd gone the regular route.</p>

<p>I am not sure what you mean by "crappy ug', maybe you should explain. i do not know any 'crappy ug', I know for the fact that there is no problem getting into top Med. Schools after graduating from state UG ("crappy" or not, I will let you to judge, I do not know what criteria you are using labeling ug "crappy"). And again, you can back out of program and still decide later that Med. School is for you after all. What do you need to "recover"? I am lost with all points in post #38. </p>

<p>One aspects seems to be under complete confusion in this discussion. Kids in a program are mixed with general student body, going to the same classes and completing requirements of their chosen major(s)/minor(s). Usually most pre-meds do not even know that some of them are in a program, there is no reason to go around campus advertising it. I know example of one guy deciding in a middle of it that he does not want to go to Med. School, but is very interested in scientific research. He is finishing ug in a program and applying to Grad Schools, not Med. Schools. He did not need to "recover", he is perfectly fine.</p>

<p>^I think awesomesauce is referring to 'tier 2s' and the like. If your D is at a school like Miami, then yeah, I would say that she doesn't much (if anything) at all in terms of the college experience and the like. However, the undergrads for some other programs aren't as highly looked upon and don't provide the same college experience at others. </p>

<p>It all depends on what the student is looking for and awesomesauce seems to have found that. Congrats, Dr. awesomesauceness :D!</p>