panvard92

10+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2008
90
0
Status
Okay, my parents have been recently driving me insane because they want me to apply to BS/MDs all of a sudden. I can't seem to find any advantage besides for the fact that you don't really need to worry about MCATs (but you still have to take board exams, so idk why just not take the MCATs so you have a feel for a really hard test based on your knowledge of med). And, as a to-be-senior, I'm not sure what I can do to get into a *good* program NOW (yeah, they want a good one....not....a no-name college but either UPitt or Northwestern...and it has to be in the northeast). I volunteer, and I have researched for three summers, leadership positions......but my scores aren't steller (30 on ACTs =P), so now I'm being told that if i can't get into these I'll never get into med school (apparently SAT/ACT have a correlation with MCATs?) -.-;

ANYWAY, ignoring my rant, for those of you who really want to go to these programs, why do you want to? Besides of not taking the MCATs...?
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
64
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
First off, I think it's safe to say that any existing correlation between high school standardized test scores and MCAT scores is extremely weak, at best, so don't worry about that. Similarly, MCAT scores and Step 1 scores are only very loosely related.

It sounds like you have all the necessary extracurricular stuff for BS/MD programs, but a 30 seems (guessing) like it would be on the low end of applicants. The easiest thing to do to improve your candidacy would be to boost your ACT score. If you're really interested in getting in, try that route.

The benefits of BS/MD programs are mainly that you can skip all the BS silently required extracurriculars that med schools force you to participate in during college, dispensing with the MCAT, and sometimes being able to forgo the application process entirely, a huge plus. However, many programs have set curricula that you must follow. That's very limiting when you should be doing what you enjoy, socially and academically. You'll also have to sacrifice a year of college, and while getting your MD a year or two earlier may sound amazing now, I assure you that is a substantial drawback. I believe we have a thread discussing BS/MD programs in-depth around here somewhere. I'll try to track it down.

edit: Here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=6766122#post6766122
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,301
I think the shortened time to get a MD and the gauruntee of an acceptance draws a lot of people in.
 

EyEnStein 07

Senior ɸ Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2008
837
6
East Coast
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
it can potentially save you some years, which means saving you some money. Im not sure if your 30 will cut it...but you would be much more competitive with say a 34. Also assuming everything else is good you
probably have a shot to be considered.

Most people go because they know what they want to do, have the grades for it, and dont want to waste time and struggle through the frustrating medical school admissions process.

Please note that some programs DO require a minimum MCAT score...where others do not. Make sure you do a lot of reading on their own sites.
 
Jul 15, 2009
129
0
Orange County
Status
Pharmacy Student
I think the shortened time to get a MD and the gauruntee of an acceptance draws a lot of people in.
The guarantee is not a guarantee still. Most programs have a specific math/sci gpa and overall gpa cutoff as well as interview/application process to complete the program once you have a BS. One of the problems is that if you do decide to go you have to be careful that the school you go to is the one you want. Be especially wary of programs that don't require a BS to move on to grad school as it will be much harder for you to transfer credits or programs to another school if your in the middle of one of those.

Another factor as to why people choose the fast track programs is because it is shorter and it costs less in the long run. Usually this is a large factor for people who come from families who can't support their educational goals.

I myself was in a pharmacy advantage program. I only did it to avoid PCATs because I hate standardized tests. When I was applying to continue on to pharm school it was nervewrecking because I knew all my eggs were in the basket with my school.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
64
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Most people go because they think they know what they want to do...
Fixed. Think about the pre-med attrition rate. All of the people who never made it med school knew they wanted to be doctors coming out of high school, too. It is extremely rare - near impossible, in my opinion - for a high schooler to be able to make an informed decision ("know") what he wants to do for a career.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,301
It is extremely rare - near impossible, in my opinion - for a high schooler to be able to make an informed decision ("know") what he wants to do for a career.
I definitely think this is false. I "knew" I wanted to be a doctor in high school and thus far don't really see that changing. Plenty of my peers also knew in high school that they would pursue a career as a lawyer, a vet, a musician, etc. I'm not sure why it's considered tabboo on SDN to know what you want to do in life without having some "a hah!" moment somewhere in college. Different roots.

The guarantee is not a guarantee still. Most programs have a specific math/sci gpa and overall gpa cutoff as well as interview/application process to complete the program once you have a BS. One of the problems is that if you do decide to go you have to be careful that the school you go to is the one you want. Be especially wary of programs that don't require a BS to move on to grad school as it will be much harder for you to transfer credits or programs to another school if your in the middle of one of those.

Another factor as to why people choose the fast track programs is because it is shorter and it costs less in the long run. Usually this is a large factor for people who come from families who can't support their educational goals.
The guarantee is pretty solid for most of the students able to secure admission into such programs. I was accepted into one myself and ultimately chose not to attend because it was actually more expensive for me to attend that university and I felt confident that I would get accepted even after taking the traditional route.

Regardless, it's is actually a gauruntee provided you meet the agreed upon stipulations. While you can do many things to make yourself a strong applicant, no school will ever post some numbers and gauruntee you that if you hit them, you're in for a traditional applicant.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
64
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I definitely think this is false. I "knew" I wanted to be a doctor in high school and thus far don't really see that changing. Plenty of my peers also knew in high school that they would pursue a career as a lawyer, a vet, a musician, etc. I'm not sure why it's considered tabboo on SDN to know what you want to do in life without having some "a hah!" moment somewhere in college. Different roots.
I mean, I think it's very common for people to have a broad idea of what they want to do, but like I said, not many high schoolers have the necessary experience to say that they actually do want to practice medicine. It's just a pipe dream or a nice thought for most.
 
Jul 24, 2009
1
0
Status
Medical Student
As someone who just went through the same type of situation, (I was a high school senior with a ACT score of 30 with less than stellar grades who was applying to BS/MD programs) I personally do not believe that an ACT score can make or break you. I will admit, a higher score may get you an interview, but it will certainly not be what ultimately decides whether or not a program will accept you. Furthermore, I decided to go to a combined program because, ultimately, I knew I wanted to go to medical school, for years that had been my dream, and a combined program allowed me to achieve my goals sooner, rather than later.
 
Dec 21, 2008
1,294
18
Status
Attending Physician
I definitely think this is false. I "knew" I wanted to be a doctor in high school and thus far don't really see that changing. Plenty of my peers also knew in high school that they would pursue a career as a lawyer, a vet, a musician, etc.
N=...1? I agree with MilkmanAl; I knew MANY people who were "pre-med" freshman year who thought they wanted to go into medicine, but quit that idea cold when they couldn't hack it in organic chemistry. No one says a sudden epiphany in college is required to want to go into medicine, but there's something to be said for at least being able to explore your options freshman year instead of being locked into a rigorous program from the get-go.
 

EyEnStein 07

Senior ɸ Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2008
837
6
East Coast
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I mean, I think it's very common for people to have a broad idea of what they want to do, but like I said, not many high schoolers have the necessary experience to say that they actually do want to practice medicine. It's just a pipe dream or a nice thought for most.
Agree and Disagree with the post you fixed of mine.

Agree because in general, yes you are correct.

Disagree because those students who go onto BS/MD or BS/DO programs (which is the purpose of this thread) or atleast apply...actually know its what they want, therefore apply to many of them and if they are accepted most likely end up staying in the competitive program and go on to be doctors. Im only taking into account students that have the grades for these things...not the average SAT average GPA student who thinks they have a chance at for example HPME and are apply for the heck of it.

Also many of these students believe it or not do have "medically" related EC's (such as volunteering and various research projects they have done ..opportunities available in medical schools for high school students)..and yes your right its not many...but then again the amount of students who get into BS/MD + BS/DO programs are not many.
 
Jul 14, 2009
26
0
Status
Medical Student
People in at least 80% of countries go straight to med school from high school (Europe, Asia, etc.)...so the whole people cannot decide to go into medicine after high school isn't really true, unless American kids are just somehow "special". Lots of people go on to college choosing a major...engineering, journalism, business, etc...and although you can always switch majors (just as you can drop out of most combined med programs if you wanted to), no one questions their decision to know they want to major in engineering, journalism, or business. Just putting that out there, I have lots of relatives in India and England and they all went to med school right after high school...med school is considered an "undergraduate" degree.

Also, yeah the peace of mind knowing you're in med school (seriously, the requirements for staying in programs aren't really very stringent when compared to the stats you need to get into med school straight away---the exception would be the WashU program which has 3.8 and 36 MCAT reqs).

Do you really want to go through the whole process in high school where you have to take SATs, re-take them because you know a higher score always helps, take tons of extra SAT 2s, figure out if you have enough leadership positions and ECs, see if you're taking the right classes, write essays for 10 colleges, go interview at some of these colleges, etc. That being said, combined programs aren't for everyone, lots of people turn down ivies for BA/MDs but I know people who have done the other way around as well.

Also, research the programs you're applying to. A lot of them are very flexible and allow you to pursue majors or minors or just classes in so many other things outside the regular pre-med curriculum that is often not that easy to do when you are a regular pre-med. I know for certain I'm taking a lot more non-science non-pre-med type related classes w/o really caring how it will look on an application than a lot of my friends that are pre-med at other universities.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,301
N=...1? I agree with MilkmanAl; I knew MANY people who were "pre-med" freshman year who thought they wanted to go into medicine, but quit that idea cold when they couldn't hack it in organic chemistry. No one says a sudden epiphany in college is required to want to go into medicine, but there's something to be said for at least being able to explore your options freshman year instead of being locked into a rigorous program from the get-go.
I see this argument a lot, "I know many people who were pre-med freshman year who ended up dropping out".

You are not at all disproving what I've initially stated. These students want to be doctors but likely can't because they are not capable of handling the coursework. That's very different from a group of freshman who go through the work, do well, but decide they want a different career. So, simply stating that you know people who couldn't hack has nothing to do with what their original intent was. It says more about the capabilities of many of the people that began wanting to pursue a career in medicine.

Ask yourself this, how many of those people, if they were to excel in organic or whatever, would still have dropped out?

I ask you this, what of all the premeds who began college as such and completed their goal? Surely they didn't realize they wanted to be doctors the first day of orientation as they were picking their classes. How can you argue that high schoolers don't know what they want to do with their lives? This very forum is a testament to that.

Edit: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=650665

An illustration of my point. Nearly 50% of the respondents knew they wanted to be a doctor in or before high school. Even if only half of these people make it, that's still 25% of the respondents. And this is just for becoming a physician, a notoriously difficult path. How can you claim high schoolers can't have a reasonable chance of knowing what they want to do with their lives?
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,943
7,880
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
I think you're mistaken. They may have wanted to become physicians, but clearly they didn't understand what was required of them. Even if undergrad pre-reqs aren't an essential part of working as a doctor, they ARE an essential part of becoming one, and, thus, are part of the process. Isn't the fact that they dropped the medicine track because classes were difficult indicative of a lack of true desire to become physicians?

I would want to be a CEO of a Fortune 100 company if I didn't know how rigorous such a track would be.

I'm not trying to belabor the point, because I do think people can know whether they want to do something or not. From my experience though, medicine seems to be one of those things that everyone wants to do until they learn of the sacrifices that are required.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,301
I think you're mistaken. They may have wanted to become physicians, but clearly they didn't understand what was required of them. Even if undergrad pre-reqs aren't an essential part of working as a doctor, they ARE an essential part of becoming one, and, thus, are part of the process. Isn't the fact that they dropped the medicine track because classes were difficult indicative of a lack of true desire to become physicians?

I would want to be a CEO of a Fortune 100 company if I didn't know how rigorous such a track would be.

I'm not trying to belabor the point, because I do think people can know whether they want to do something or not. From my experience though, medicine seems to be one of those things that everyone wants to do until they learn of the sacrifices that are required.
Who ever knows what's required of them? College athletes have no idea what an NBA workout or an NFL workout will be like off the camera, away from the games. Soldiers have no idea what the field of battle will look like and what it will demand from them or what it takes to become an officer. Did that make their determination to pursue that career any less genuine?

If you're arguing that highschool premeds don't know everything that becoming a doctor entails, than you have no opponent here. But then, what a useless stance to begin with because that tells you nothing. The statement that was made was that someone did not believe a high school student could seriously know what they wanted to do with their lives, thus, why would anyone pursue BS/MD or whatever the conclusion from that previous belief may be.

The important point is that people don't always do what they want and that's why a lot of adults are working jobs they hate. That's life, not everyone gets what they want in life, especially when it comes to a job.
 
OP
P

panvard92

10+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2008
90
0
Status
As a HS-er, I, well thus far, have one reason to like medicine: it's a combo of many different fields. Truth be told, I can't do just bio, or chem, or physics my whole life time....I'd go nuts. Medicine seems really cool because it combines so many fields together. I think that to be a good doctor, besides being really good with the sciences, I think you need to have the background in dealing with people (managing skills), and just being well-rounded, since you're probably gonna meet such a diverse group of people. I think. :idea:

I've talked to one doctor in my whole life (yay HS career day!). Personally, it's seems to be one field I can't see myself getting bored of (I seem to get bored very easily).

The thing is, I feel as though if I go into a BS/MD I can't take the same bredth of classes, and I might not be able to get a major + some other degree in 3 years, because I'll be so rushed. I like humanities too as much as I like the sciences (okay, sciences a bit more), and while I do want to be best at my field, I want to be well-rounded too. Having a smart doctor who can tell you what's wrong is really cool. Having a smart doctor who can tell you what's wrong and can have a convo abt anything from politics to neuropsycology to how Edgar Allen Poe is a weirdo...now that is awesome.

Also, the people who have gone to these programs (the seniors I know) from my view are doing it so 1) they can definitely be a doctor and wear the white coat and say "OH, I'm a doctor, in your face!" , and 2) Get by the MCATs somewhat painlessly. But maybe that's just me.
My friend wants to go into these programs so he can take that extra year and go around the world before he becomes a doctor and never has a life again. I would think that you'd enjoy becoming a doctor and being a doctor, esp. if you're so sure about your interest in it. I mean...I want to look foward to getting a job, and learning more about the human body and how easily screwed up it can get (er...I couldn't find a better way to put that). Then again, I'm known be an idealist lol. :D
 

FutureCTDoc

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2009
1,167
2
Sunny South Florida
Status
Pre-Medical
As to the why part I attend NSU's BS/DO because A) I love Miami B) Flexible program, my seat is there I'm not forced to load up on premed courses C) Easier to get in on this end than the other D) My father did the PSU/JMC 5 year and from what I had learned found out that this was a good fit E) I've wanted to be a physician for years and actually understand the hardships of becoming a physician i.e. long hours, call, the hell called residency F) I happened to like NSU for other reasons
 

huskerdye

10+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2009
192
1
NE
Status
I'm going to be in a BA/MD program this coming school year and I'd say the advantages are pretty sweet.. Yeah I still have ceartain qualifications I have to maintain, 3.5 gpa and I have to get a 24 on the MCAT as well as partake in shadowing and different activities.. but those numbers are going to have to be a lot higher to get a acceptance to med school.. It's nice knowing that as long as I maintain my grades I'm going to have a spot for me in med school
 
Aug 1, 2009
14
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Personally I would just do the traditional thing, but please don't do it cause your parents are telling you to, thats like saying you want to be a doctor cause your parents want you to be one. But if you really want to go this route then it's awesome, something you could do now before senior year is shadow a few doctors for full days to get a better meaning of how their life is, and so you can directly speak to different doctors and ask them their route to becoming a doctor, and what they would recommend.

thats awesome your doing research for 3 summers now, thats pretty noteworthy.

But again, please don't let your parents run your future.
 
Last edited:

Zoom-Zoom

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2005
2,008
6
California
Status
Medical Student
While I was studying away for the MCAT and obsessing about my crappy weed-out lab reports and other bogus assignments, my BS/MD friends were living the good life. I'd seriously suggest that anyone interested give it a shot. You might have to see it to really understand. They have it made.

In 4 years you'll have little choice of where you go to med school anyway, you'll have to spend thousands of dollars on applications to 20+ med schools, and you could end up in some rural place with really cold winters, or the like. There's a lot of risk that comes into the med school application process, and it's ridiculously expensive. The BA/MD process eliminates all of that, and it may be, come to think of it, the only logical part of this whole backward process.
 
Last edited: