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Accelerated Program or Regular Undergraduate Education?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Conflicted89, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Conflicted89

    Conflicted89 7+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Hi, I am currently a senior in high school and have been accepted into and am considering one of the following schools/programs:

    Northwestern HPME
    Boston University Accelerated program
    Duke University
    Princeton University
    Brown University
    Cornell University

    Should I truly fear the process of taking the MCATs and applying to medical school and prefer the BA/MD program at Northwestern over other excellent undergraduate institutions? In other words, how difficult is it to get accepted into a medical school better than Northwestern, and will going to Northwestern's Feinberg school of medicine give me as good a chance at amazing residency matches as any other medical school?

    If I don't go into one of the programs, which undergrad school should I choose?

    Thanks in advance for the advice,
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  3. sejin8642

    sejin8642 5+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    go to BS/MD program. it will not torture your soul.
  4. cgjock80

    cgjock80 Im in 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2006
    Upstate NY
    I had similar options heading into undergrad, an accelerated program vs. a regular 4 year undergrad then application process route. I chose the latter. If i had done the med school in 6-7 years program, I would have just taken the requisite science courses and then went right into med school. However, this would have not allowed me to pursue other great experiences in college, such as double majoring (NROSCI, PHIL), playing hockey, starting my own AIDS activism group, etc. I will not hesitate to say that the MCAT/application is difficult and stressful, but I think I will be a better physician because I discovered and pursued other passions. Also, if you are academically savvy enough to be offered one of the advanced positions, and dont decide that alcohol is more important to academics, you could definitely maintain a great GPA and get into top med programs. Moral of story: Experience leads to success. Dont let your zeal for medical school occlude experiences in other realms.
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Like it not, the MCAT is just one test in a career filled with important tests. It isn't even the most important test, just one of the first. If this is going to be a determinative factor in your decision process, you likely are on a bad path for you.

    Go someplace where you can actually enjoy college, explore lots of things, and not funnel yourself into premed mode too early. Most college premeds decide somewhere along the way that medicine is not for them, or not what they thought, or get waylaid by orgo or other hard science classes and decide not to continue on. And then you will find yourself at a school you probably wouldn't have chosen had you known ahead of time that you really wanted to be an architect...
  6. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Carrboro, NC
    I would strongly advise against an accelerated program. I was accepted to one (Penn State/Jefferson) but turned it down since literally every doctor I spoke to about it (even my faculty interviewer at Jefferson and faculty interviewers that I've discussed it with when I applied to med school this cycle) thought it was a bad idea.


    1) there's no need to rush
    2) it'll have a negative impact on your college experience (college should be more than pre-medical school)
    3) your locked into a particular med school (a choice that you're not equipped to make right now; especially since only a limited number have these programs)
    4)maturity issues
    5) I'm sure there are others that other people can talk about
    6) remember that schools are not doing this for your benefit, it's more about recruiting talented students.

    Northwestern is a great school and you couldn't go wrong there. The residency you get will depend more on you than your school.

    I wouldn't worry about the MCAT and grades if you're talented enough to get into those schools and those programs. Seriously, you'll probably find that it's not as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be (I found that out quickly).

    Choose whichever school where you think you'll be happiest, they're all about equal academically.

    Finally, are those BA/MD programs actually accelerated or are they 8 year programs? An 8 year program, to me, is better because it's not accelerated and you'd be prepared to apply elsewhere if you decided to do that (while having a guaranteed admission).
  7. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    Choose Princeton. It really is no contest. Princeton provides the best undergraduate education and experience in the country.
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I would tend to agree that I probably would have to go with one of the Ivies on your list over BU or NW.
  9. therealdeal555

    therealdeal555 New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    if you're pretty sure you're gonna do medicine, i'd go with the NW program, for a couple of reasons:

    1. great medical school.
    2. low(er) stress premed education, allowing you to pursue any other interests.
    3. terrific undergraduate school as well.
  10. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    why do you need an amazing residency match?
  11. Conflicted89

    Conflicted89 7+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! One more question, how difficult would it be to get into a medical school better than Northwestern if I went to Princeton or Brown Undergrad?
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Getting into a good med school is always difficult. Depends mostly on how you do in school and on the MCAT so silly to speculate at this juncture. But as a lot of posters above suggested, even worrying about med school at this juncture is probably not ideal. Go to college. Learn stuff. Figure out if medicine is really what you want to do by exploring other options. And only then focus in on med school.
  13. nabs86

    nabs86 2+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    I was in an accelerated 7 year program. Last fall, I decided to try to go to a better school, and it was chaos. I had to come up with a major (because I didn't have one with the previous program) and hurriedly apply to other schools. From my experience, the accelerated programs are bad just because you're locked into them. I made the decision for a 7 year program when I was 17, and I honestly don't think I was experienced enough to be making the choice of where I want to go to med school. Don't rush into this program and regret it later. Enjoy college, work hard, and play hard, too!
  14. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member 2+ Year Member

    May 28, 2006
    Boston & NYC
    Holy moly there are a lot of these threads.
  15. scrubswannabe

    scrubswannabe Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I'd say go to Northwestern HPME. You will not be concentrating on only the required courses in a BS/MD program. You won't have to worry about applying and will thus have a lot more free time to really enjoy college and have other interests. I am in a program myself so this is from personal experience. Either of those choices is fantastic though. Congrats.
  16. CTtarheel

    CTtarheel Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    If you are absolutely 100% sure you want to do medicine right now than you can't beat northwestern's program. You're certainly can't bet on doing better than that 4 years from now.

    However, in general I would really advise against the BS/MD programs. Primarily because if you decide you don't want to do medicine you're stuck in a program usually in a bulls*** major like "pre-medical studies" and you might have to do another year of undergrad to start a new career path. To be honest, unless you've had a broad and significant exposure to clinical medicine and also research it's tough to know that medicine is exactly what you want to do. I considered BS/MD programs in high school, but I'm glad that I didn't because it gave me a better chance to really get exposure to medicine as well as possible other science career paths and caused me to make a more informed decision about going to med school.

    Once you get a couple years into med school you're pretty much stuck with it as you have too much debt to not graduate and work as a physician to pay back your loans. At 18, I know i wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. Make sure that you are.
  17. eternity1115

    eternity1115 King of HPME

    Apr 6, 2007
    Northwestern University
    Hey congrats on HPME! I was also admitted this year and have turned down Penn, Duke, and some other really good schools for HPME. I think HPME is different from other programs in that you don't really need to rush through undergrad if you don't want to. A lot of people go for the full 4 years of undergrad and then go to Feinberg in HPME. It's also really flexible, so you can study any major you want, and you are not going to be stuck in a "premedical studies" major. Northwestern is an excellent undergrad insititution and its professors can match the calibur of some that are in Duke or Princeton. All the HPME students I have talked to love it at Northwestern and you won't have to worry about having a terrible college experience. I recommend you to join our HPME class Conflicted89.
  18. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2002
    Deciding which undergrad or med school should be based on where you think you will be happiest and not on "prestige of residency". Do you like Northwestern's medical school? Location? Curriculum? How do they grade, pass/fail or other? Etc....If you love the school and feel it is the best fit for you then choose their program.

    If you are unsure about medicine as a career or what you are looking for in a medical school then you should follow a traditional undergrad route. You have acceptances to some excellent, but very different schools. No one can answer for you which school is best for you. Stop worrying about "prestige" and residency and figure out where you will be happiest. If you love where you are and the learning environment you will excel.
  19. y8507

    y8507 2+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    your life will be significantly easier in a guaranteed med program if you are relatively sure you want to do medicine. seriously, the application process is long, stressful, and expensive.

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