Written by Allen Brown.
Conventionally, a student must apply to an undergraduate school with a comprehensive program in hard sciences to become a medical practitioner. Regardless of their chosen major, undergrads must finish their main physics, biology, chemistry, and maths courses to apply for medical school. This process takes four years, after which students receive their MCAT results and bachelor’s degrees. Only then can they begin their medical journey and apply for medical school. This 4-year process may seem strenuous to many, which is why some high school students skip it and apply for BS/MD programs right off the bat. If you’re wondering about BS/MD programs’ requirements, we’re here to walk you through them. Keep reading as we take a close look at what BS/MD programs are and how you can apply for one.
What Is a BS/MD Program?
These programs are designed to offer medical school admissions in exchange for specific minimum academic requirements during a student’s college years or during college application. That means that high school students can apply for BS/MD programs during college applications’ regular process. Besides, you can still apply for specific BS/MD programs as underclassmen in college. Many college students apply to med school in the summer break between their junior and senior years. With BS/MD, you’ll determine whether you have been accepted in med school or not a long time earlier than most peers your age. Although most BS/MD programs require a minimum GPA score of 3.5 in college, and sometimes students are required to take the MCAT to qualify. You’ll be granted admission to the med school associated with your BS/MD program if you meet the minimum requirements of the program you apply to. Using these programs to apply to medical school will help you skip a year or two from the required eight years of becoming a medical doctor. After finishing these programs, students earn the degrees of Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Medicine.
First of all, it’s important to note that these programs are not easy to get into. Each program will require different standards and scores, but the criteria are typically more difficult for graduate applicants. Most BS/MD programs for medical schools in Washington require a minimum GPA score of 3.7, while on average, qualified students apply with a 3.9 GPA. The average ACT score for admitted students is 32; however, the program’s minimum is 24. Finally, the minimum SAT score is 1160, compared to the average 1420 score for admitted students. We can conclude from these numbers that even with a not-so-competitive minimum score, applicants are expected to compete with exceptionally high scores. This is in addition to writing a personal statement, providing strong recommendation letters, and acing the interview. Other important factors contribute to your chances of getting accepted into the program. Keep reading to find out more about them.
Research and Clinical Experience
To stand out between similarly qualified applicants, you need to gain experience in some specific fields related to your medical career. For starters, try joining summer programs for high school students that focus on pre-med subjects. Involving in these activities, volunteering at local hospitals, and interacting with real-life patients will increase your clinical experience and add to your extracurricular activities. Another way of listing more extracurriculars in your resume is gaining access to supervised laboratory time and working on your research skills. You can also talk to your high school professors and ask them for extra experimental work that you can finish after your classes. A good BS/DM candidate will have both clinical and research experience mentioned in their application form.
The College Essay
College essays are personal statements included in college application forms to let the school know its applicants outside of their grades and academic accomplishments. It is the part where you highlight any significant obstacles that stood in your way or any inspiring events that made you want to become a doctor. Start working on that step a year before applying, if possible, as you want to give yourself enough time to produce your best work and stand out from the tough competition.
If your goal is to become a doctor, BS/MD programs can be a great way of achieving that with minimum requirements. However, you’ll still need a high GPA score to get into these programs and ensure your place in med school. Even with excellent scores, it’s crucial to prove your competence and prepare to compete with other skilled applicants who also have stellar scores.