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Combined BS/MD programs...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by spo0kman, Nov 27, 2000.

  1. spo0kman

    spo0kman Member

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    Hi all.. been awhile since I posted here.

    To refresh, I am a 20 year old firefighter/paramedic who absolutely loves the amount of knowledge in medicine I have already gained and crave more. My problem is, while I was a good student in high school, I found it terribly boring and as such, never studied or did any homework. Graduating with a 3.2 and without taking SATs or ACTs, I immediately pursued a career in the fire and ems service. Now i'm stuck. I want to go to med/premed.. but my high school transcripts don't reflect an academic future for me.

    I am wondering about combined BS/MD programs, and wondering whether they will look at my life experience rather than my lack of high school studies..

    Any help will be much appreciated, thanks in advance..

    Mike Burnes
     
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  3. hey there,
    High school doesn't matter too much, unless you want to do the BS/MD program. If you want to do the program, I think you have to have a really high GPA, and stellar SAT scores. Anyway, you should consider going to community college for 2yrs, then to a state school, and make sure you have really good grades (almost all A's). You have some life experience, and study your ass off for the MCAT...have you considered DO schools? In the meanwhile, you should talk to med schools and ask if you can speak to the admissions as counselors because you're considering medicine in the future...I'm a pre-dental student, so that's the only info I can give you (I know this from friends/family in med school and my parents are doctors)...well, good luck to you [​IMG]

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  4. alceria

    alceria Senior Member

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    First off, I don't get why a lot of people who have questionable pre-med credentials are steered into the direction of DO school, or told to use DO school as a saftey. It is HARDER to get into a DO school! I know several people in DO schools right now, and they do the exact same stuff for the first 2 years as people in MD programs, but also learn chiropractic medicine. The DO cirriculum, like the MD cirriculum, is not for the faint of heart, and your credentials have to be just as good as an MD applicants'. Also, DO schools usually require applicants to have letters of recommendations from practicing DOs. The admissions panel wants applicants that firmly believe with the philosophy of osteopathic medicine - not people that didn't think they could get into MD school. For the record, I want to go to an MD school, but I just wanted to set this straight as it's an all too common misconception.

    That said, back to the original poster's question. Your experience in the field will definately serve as a bonus to you. And a 3.2 GPA is a respectable B average. (FYI, the mean college GPA of students accepted to med school is a 3.5) But high school grades really aren't important. It is important that you show that you can handle a major load of science classes. You should probably enroll in some science classes and fulfill the pre-med reqs. While you're doing that, check into the med schools you are interested in, and see if they require a bachelor's degree. Some don't. Because of your unique circumstances, you might be someone they would consider without a degree. You're best case scenario is that they'll let you in once you take the basic pre-med reqs (about 2 years worth of college) and take the MCAT. This is assuming that you do well in both. If you are rejected, well then you've already got half the classes you need to get your BS, so you can just keep chugging away, and re-apply in two years once you have your degree.

    BS/MD degrees are usually offered to extremely motivated and gifted students straight out of high school. I personally don't think it's a good idea. I wouldn't want to be rushed like that. But it may be a good for some people. You would need to contact your med school and see if they even offer it - only a handful do. (Try checking the Association of American Medical Schools website - www.aamc.org for info.)

    Good luck with whatever route you choose! [​IMG]
     
  5. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    alceria, I respect your opinions and agree that DO schools play second to no one, but can you qualify your statement, "It is HARDER to get into a DO school?" I assume you're comparing admission to a DO school and admission to an MD school.

    And as for DO students learning "chiropractic medicine," I'd be willing to bet more than one would want to debate that point. [​IMG]

    The average GPA for accepted applicants to MD medical schools, according to the AAMC is 3.56. According to some premedical advisors, a 3.2 GPA gives an applicant a less than 20% chance of being admitted.


    Tim of New York City.

    [This message has been edited by turtleboard (edited 11-30-2000).]
     
  6. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member

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    To the original poster, I say, nothing is beyond your reach if you really want it! For example, in my med school class we have a 29 year old who graduated from high school with a D average, went into the military, went back to college years later, and is now a first year med student! So yes, it can be done, and you should not hesitate if you are really serious. Getting into college with a 3.2 GPA should not be impossible at all. But I will agree with what the others said about BS/MD programs. They are probably not your best bet. I'm also from Columbus [​IMG] Have you considered night classes at Franklin? Or maybe Otterbein or Capital? You can always start at Columbus State CC, an transfer into Ohio State after two years. Good Luck,

    Mango
    MS-1

    [This message has been edited by Mango (edited 11-30-2000).]
     
  7. alceria

    alceria Senior Member

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    Turtleboard - Again, I'd like to reiterate that I haven't gone through the DO process because I'm not interested in going to a DO school, but I have a few friends that have gone on DO interviews and were accepted at and matriculated at DO schools. The reason I said it is more difficult is because they really expect you do have a deep understanding in the philosophy of osteopathic medicine. On an interview, you will most likely be asked what it is you like about osteopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic. Saying that you are using DO school as a backup isn't an answer that's likely to impess the admissions officer. Also, as I said before, a lot of the schools require you to have a mentor-like relationship with a DO doctor, and to have letters of recommendation from a DO doctor. MD schools do not have this requirement for their schools. People who really have no interested in DO schools shouldn't use them as "back-ups" because they are unlikely to do well at the interview when the issue between getting an MD/DO is raised. Also, if they don't have any contact with a DO doctor, this will also be unfavorable to them. I am *not* saying that it's significantly harder to get into DO school if you have the credentials you need, but at the same time I think it's foolish to write them off and consider them lesser or easier schools to get into. I would definately not put DO schools under the "back up" category just because they are DO schools.

    However, I've been thinking about this, and I'm now curious to know the mean GPA for just students accepted at DO schools. Perhaps there are many applicants that apply that are less competitive since people believe getting accepted there will be easier that a few straglers get in with less than perfect grades. I wouldn't be surprised if their applicant pool has more lower-end applicants. However, I'm going to guess that so many qualified, DO-minded people also apply that this doesn't have that much of an effect. \

    Perhaps some future DO students can shed more light on the admissions process and I can see if my friends' experiences were the norm or the exception.

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    ^v^
     
  8. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    BA/MD or BS/MD programs usually do not shorten the time needed to earn a medical degree. Some programs require the completion of the BA or BS before starting the medical school phase, others at least three years. A very few do it in 2 and 4.

    Even being admitted to such programs does not GUARANTEE admission to the medical school phase. High grades in the undergrad phase must be maintained, high MCATs if the MCAT is required.

    The highschool/SAT credentials needed to matriculate in such programs are commonly much higher than to be otherwise admitted to many colleges and universities.
     
  9. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    When I applied to med school in the summer of 1998, the average GPA and MCAT for accepted MD applicants were: 3.55 and 29. The numbers for DO applicants were: 3.4 and 26. Today the numbers for MD applicants are pretty much unchanged, so I'll assume that the numbers at DO schools are about the same.


    Tim of New York City.
     
  10. spo0kman

    spo0kman Member

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    Thank you all for your help and suggestions.. it seems that perhaps the bs/md programs are not quite what I thought.

    Another question.. I'm newly married and have newly inherited a family, how hard is keeping a marriage/family going throughout undergrad/grad/residency (although I know the latter will depend on hte type of residency)

    any thoughts?



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    Mike Burnes FF/NREMT-P
     
  11. Bubakar

    Bubakar Junior Member

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    To Alceria
    1. It is easir to get into a DO school. I don't have a "deep" understanding but have been accepted at two schools while I wait even to get an MD interview. Knowing about osteopathic medicine is imnportant but they want to know that you really are people oriented and that is what matters.
    2. DO's do NOT learn Chiropractic Procedures. It is OMT, osteopathic manipulative therapy. It is used by physical therapists and also many MDs wnat to learn it too because it works and is scientific. I really can't say what Chiropractors really do that is unique.

    As for the real question. BS/MD programs are real tough to do. Your best bet is to go to the best place possible and do very well. Because no matter where you go, you have to get good grades.
     

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