What to look for in a BS/MD program and some tips.

<p>Someone recently asked me a question on what to look for for BS/MD programs and some other questions about shadowing/EC's. Because I ended up typing a post way too long to fit into a PM (yes, I write a lot, be prepared for an essay), I'm putting it up on a thread so that everyone can see it. I will be attending a BS/MD program in the fall, so I have done my research. </p>

<p>** What to look for in a BS/MD program **</p>

<p>When applying to BS/MD programs, keep in mind that if you are a good enough applicant to get into any BS/MD program, you'll be good enough to get into med school 4 years down the line. Therefore, you want to make sure to apply to a full range of "regular" schools as well, so that you'll have a choice later on when deciding which colleges to go to. That was my mistake; I didnt apply to any ivies or reach privates that I would've been happy at. Dont do that, because it puts you in a position where you'll be screwed if you dont get into a BS/MD. That happened to a friend of mine, and she's now stuck at one of her safety schools, which also happens to be really expensive. </p>

<p>But some things to look out for when applying to programs. </p>

<p>-Applying out of the program policy. Would you have to give up your seat at the program you're in? Are you allowed to take the MCAT? Could you realistically get into a med school after 4 years if you wanted to apply out? You never know; you might change your mind about medicine or want to go to a different med school.
-The med school and the undergrad school. No point going to a school and being miserable. Really, if you work hard in undergrad and you arent in a bs/md (and you have good enough stats to get into a bs/md) you will get into a med school.
- Their flexibility with your other interests. Can you get an MBA if you want? Can you get a music minor?
-How long the program has been running/has it been shrinking or expanding. If a program has been shrinking in size over the years thats a sign that the med school isnt happy with the bs/md for some reason or another.
-You should look up each bs/md you apply to individually to see how people in it are liking it,and look for the pros and cons of each one. They all are very different, in all honesty.</p>

<p>** Extracurriculars. **</p>

<p>Extracurriculars are really important for bs/md programs because they want to make sure that you know for sure that you want to be a doctor. Trust me, even though it may glitter and seem like an amazing job because of the $$$, med school and residency are tough enough so that the pay alone is not worth it. Being a doctor itself isnt an easy job either, and you're entire life will come with an emotional cost (some specialities more than others). Dont get me wrong; in my opinion I think its one of the most fufilling, interesting, and best career there is, but if you've never seen it you wont know if you'll have the same opinion. </p>

<p>The one trick to getting into competitive internships, especially smaller ones, is to contact them. If you talk to them, you wont be just another face in the applicant pool anymore. (I was told this by a friend who got into a good internship)</p>

<p>For shadowing, the best way to get one is connections. But you dont need connections from your parents; make connections! None of my extracurriculars came from parental connections, and I got the chance to shadow doctors in 2 different specialities (regularly) and I have more than 300 shadow hours. Consider going abroad to shadow. In other countries the laws tend to be a lot more lax about having people shadow (no paperwork = more willing organizations). To get into that I just emailed them (it was a free, nonprof hospital) and they said yes. </p>

<p>Try asking around doctors as well. See if your school has any shadowing programs. Generally these will last for a day, and they fill up quick, at least at my school, so the only ones that are possible to get are ones on inconvenient days like during homecoming week or through finals. Either way, its better than nothing. You could also email doctors individually for these day ones, and even though this is not the preferred option (how much can you learn from just one 8 hour shadowing?), its better than having 0 exposure. </p>

<p>If you get lucky, and are a smooth talker, you might be able to get a shadowing job at your local hospital. Most doctors are usually too busy to even talk to volunteers, but the main thing is getting them to notice you. Thats the hardest part. </p>

<p>You should probably also have med-ish volunteer activities. Examples of these are working at a nursing home or working with children with special needs. These area ways to stand out from the crowd. </p>

<p>Most people who get into BS/MD's (from what i've seen) have 1 med-ish ec (most common is research), shadowing hours, decent stats, and ace the interview, but ** you dont have to follow this formula to get in **. What the BS/MD programs want to see is that you . are 100% sure you want to be a doctor and can back it up with exposure. Most people who enter college as premeds end up not going into medicine; I personally never understood how people can say "I wanted to be a doctor from the age of 5" because its a big choice to make. </p>

<p>** Other tips **</p>

<p>-Apply smart, not hard. For example, if your GPA sucks dont apply to schools which place a heavy emphasis on GPA. If your EC's suck dont apply to a school which mostly takes kids who are club president, captain of 3 sports, and cured cancer over the summer. This goes for all schools, not just BS/MD's.</p>

<p>-Apply early! These due dates are MUCH earlier than that of other colleges, so start looking into them now. </p>

<li>If you dont get in, its not the end of the world. Make sure you apply to lots of other schools in case this happens. Dont worry, if you're smart enough to stand a chance at BS/MD's, you should get into a med school later on. Its really not as tough as people make it out to be (but it is a lot of stress, and its definitely not easy). </li>

<p>Good luck, and feel free to ask me any more questions! I dont bite, but I dont log onto collegeconfidential very much anymore unfortunately, so im sorry if I dont respond. </p>

<p>Either way, happy application season.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for your insight!</p>

<p>"When applying to BS/MD programs, keep in mind that if you are a good enough applicant to get into any BS/MD program, you’ll be good enough to get into med school 4 years down the line. "</p>

<p>-Only if you continue working hard in UG. Does not happen by itself. Some very top kids have hard time adjusting to college requirments and end up not doing so well.
However, if you get into bs/md that allow to apply out while retaining your spot in a program and if you do very well at UG and get decent MCAT score, applying regular route while in bs/md will put you in much better position than all other regular route applicants, since you got at least one spot. It will help sitting thru MCAT and going to interviews and you could be very choosy about Med. Schools to apply. My D. did it and going to Med. School outside of her bs/md.</p>

By doing that, you would be taking a spot away from another student who actually wants to spend 8 years in that program.</p>



<p>lol what kind of logic is that? I could say that your seat to medical school is only guaranteed in a bs/md program if you work hard and follow all the requirements. In other words, you have to work hard in UG no matter what.</p>



<p>theking101- lol who cares? It’s about you, not other applicants.</p>


<p>Thats true. Only if you keep working hard. But somebody who has a 3.6 and a 2100 SAT, which im guessing someone who gets into a bs/md will have bc of minimum requirements and such, obviously has the ability to get in the regular route. And to get into a better college as well. Of course they’ll have to keep working hard, but they’ll have to work hard in a program too!</p>

<p>However, usually thse ug schools for bs/md programs are not as good as other schools the applicant has gotten into. Although the school name does not matter for med schools, MCAT score does, and if a person goes to harvard i would think they would be better educated than someone who goes to some random school in alabama. </p>

<p>I forgot to say that the main two +'s of bs/md are less stress and more ability to do what you want (you dont have to do research if you want to, instead you can learn latin or start a service organizations. Yes, I have seen this done).</p>

<p>And @theking101, dont base your final college choice decision on others. You earned that spot. Its not going to kill them if they have to go the regular route. They werent qualified. Too bad for them. I dont mean to be rough, but if you want to be thinking about others think of children in india working in firework factories all day instead of being in school, or people in africa who dont have clean water.</p>

Yeah, I see what you’re saying. I have other reasons for disliking the idea of applying out, but this isn’t the thread for it haha. </p>

<p>By the way, thanks for posting all of this valuable information. :)</p>

<p>If I may ask, what program are you going to attend in the fall?</p>

<p>I’m curious, whats your other reasons? </p>

<p>And ill be attending sbu/gw in the fall. East coast WOOT!</p>

<p>Okay, I"ll first start off with why I would want to attend a BS/MD program…

  1. No MCAT
  2. No need for all those applications
  3. No applications= No interviews
  4. No interviews= money saved (and no interviews= less stress)
  5. Ability to explore your interests (i.e. you can take a class without fear of it hurting your gpa or wasting your valuable study time)
  6. No need to be on the lookout for extracurriculars that enhance your application.</p>

<p>Now, if I wanted to apply out… I would be losing all of the above. I wouldn’t have any advantages or “perks”, instead, I would just be another pre-med student. Also, keep in mind that you probably gave up a better undergrad university so you can apply out of a lower-ranked university. </p>

<p>However, my reasons do not apply to programs that require you to take the MCAT. Though improbable, if I scored 10 points above the minimum requirement to stay in the program, I would definitely be looking to apply out. So I guess I wasn’t being entirely accurate when I said I would never apply out. :p</p>

<p>Nice job on sbu/gw! No MCAT in that program, right? </p>

<p>I get to experience the BS/MD application process in another year. This, of course, means that everything I have stated is coming from someone who hasn’t had first-hand experience, so perhaps what I said is not entirely accurate. Please correct me if I’m mistaken on any of the above.</p>

<p>In my opinion, theking101, it’s not as much as the guarantee as the sense of relief you get to know you got into at least one medical school. That doesn’t mean you need to go to that med school to gain the bs/md experience; in fact, the bs/md’s core lies in the student’s ability to do nearly whatever he/she wants as an undergrad. Med school is med school, wherever you go (in the US), so the undergraduate life is what really excites me in a bs/md program.</p>

Wait… “if a med school is a med school”… why apply out? It doesn’t make sense to me if you apply out when you already have an acceptance.</p>

<p>Now, I have another question. I’ve been on the varsity swim team for two years so far. Next year is junior year and I"m looking at a lot of AP’s/clubs/volunteering/other stuff that will eat up a lot of my time. So I’m wondering how much of an impact a sport has on a BS/MD admission… People have said it can display commitment if you continue for 4 years… but it’s just not plausible for me. I leave for swim practice at 5 in the morning, and I get back home at like 6 in the evening. Do you think it would be bad to stop after two years? Essentially, I’m asking what weightage is given to non-medical extracurriculars. It would save me a lot of stress if I get rid of the sport…</p>

<p>What I meant by “med school is med school” is that there isn’t any perk for being a bs/md student. For undergrad, there’s a lot, but for med school, whether you stay in the program’s med school or apply out you aren’t going to have any relief or choice of courses, etc. That’s basically what I meant, if that makes sense.</p>

<p>It can help if you have a sport, although I think medical extracurriculars far outweigh any athletics.</p>

<p>Hmm well i wouldnt say that all med schools are the exact same. A lot of med schools are better in different areas, and have different focuses on the way they educate you. </p>

<p>Plus, you should be doing EC’s that “enhance you application” in college, even if it isnt for your application. Just because you already got into med school doesnt mean you can slack for 4 years. But its true that you get a wider opportunity to invest time into your interests, and less stress for sure. And you do save $$$ if you dont have to interview at a ton of med schools.</p>

<p>Think of it this way: You already got into one med school. After that, you can still apply up or just settle. You make the decision whether or not you want to apply out probably end of sophomore year (or even as late junior year), so you still get the freedoms of bs/md while having the opportunity to reach if you want to later on. If your grades/ec’s/mcat happens to be good enough, go for it.</p>

<p>^I’ve already clarified that I didn’t mean that all med schools are the same. I meant that there is no advantage to being in a bs/md program once you’ve reached the MD part of the program.</p>