How to Think About (and Get Into) BS/MD Programs
| “Those things that help you stand out in highly selective universities are the exact same things that will help you stand out in the BS/MD application pool as well. In both, self-awareness and being familiar with your core values are the surprising key.”
Have you been dreaming about becoming a doctor since you were a little child? Do you wonder if a Direct Medical Program (BS/MD) is your best solution? Before you commit, be sure to understand the options that are out there, as well as the pros and cons of selecting one of these programs.
- What exactly is a Direct Medical Program (BS/MD) and how do they work
- Which BS/MD program is one of the most outstanding, and why
- Why you should become familiar with your selected programs’ standards & policies
- Major drawback you need to be aware of before choosing your program
- How you can use the Ivy League Challenge to help you get into a great college
And so much more.
Too many people are overwhelmed, stressed out, and frustrated about college admissions prep. I created this podcast to help you build a standout college profile and boost your confidence. Enjoy!
– Steve Gardner, FounderListen to my podcast
Listen to other podcasts
Transcript of this podcast
Most teenagers and even young adults throughout high school and into their college years are just kinds of trying to figure themselves out.
And slowly over time figure out where they fit into the open market, what kind of jobs, or what kind of careers they want to create for themselves.
But there are a select few, and maybe you're one of them who just from childhood has been dreaming about becoming a doctor.
As a result, colleges and medical schools have worked together to create direct medical programs or otherwise known as bsmd programs to help you can expedite that process.
And today we're just gonna talk about the pros and cons of these programs, and some things that you should be aware of.
And then we'll talk about the best strategies for getting in and how you can use the ivy league challenge to really set yourself apart.
Because as you probably know, these are some of the most selective programs in college. Some of these programs literally have 1 % or lower than 1 % acceptance rates.
And even the programs that have large classes like 90 students are going to have acceptance rates of 10 % or below.
So just to clarify for those who may not already be aware, a BS MD program is one where a college and a medical school partner is.
So that at the end of your entire track, you graduate with a bachelor's degree or abs and a medical degree and MD sometimes both degrees will be from the same college.
And other times like the Rice-Baylor medical scholars program, you're going to get different degrees from different schools.
Now many times, these programs still last 8 years, which is exactly the amount of time that it would take if you took the traditional path, getting your bachelor's degree graduating, and then going to medical school and graduating.
Each of those is a 4-year process, but some of these degrees actually fast-track it. Some are finished in 7 years, and then although they're dying out, there are still programs that exist that finish up in 6 years.
That's a little bit deceiving, though, because many of these programs that are quote-unquote, "fast track" require summer courses, or just require that students take a lot more credits throughout their 7 years or 6 years of study.
One of the best-known BSMD programs is the program at brown university, which I think is an outstanding program.
It allows you to get a bachelor's degree in anything you choose, including the humanities.
Before you matriculate into medical school, many of the other programs insist that you choose from a very rigid set of undergraduate majors.
It is a little bit deceptive because even though you've been admitted and you beat the odds, you maybe got into a program that only has a 6 % or a 7 % admission rate, or a three or a, 1 %, even.
Oftentimes, that doesn't mean that you're automatically going to be able to matriculate to medical school.
Because most of the time these programs have minimum GPA requirements, and often they require that you still take the m cat and achieve a minimum score. There are programs that do not require the m cat.
So anyway, the point is that you should become aware of the programs that you're looking at and be familiar with their standards and their policies.
The reason why you might choose to do a BSMD program and just get on that track is that applying to medical school is actually extremely stressful.
And unlike college where, in fact, the question is, which school will I go to and not if I'm going to get in?
Medical school is very much a question of if it's not necessarily which school more than half of each year's applicants to medical school are not admitted to an MD program inside the united states.
They have to choose a plan b which does not include just going to a lower-ranked medical school. So not getting accepted might mean that you have spent 4 years preparing for medical school.
But then you can't actually practice as a doctor. You can't do the thing you chose to do. That's a really stressful environment to be in.
So for many, it's great peace of mind to know that you are on track and what you're going to do for the next 8 years.
In fact, especially at programs like brown university, where you can just really focus on whatever studies you're interested in.
You don't have to worry that much about the medical school prerequisites. Like you would have to do if you know you were going to apply to medical school.
Often these programs are extremely small, in some cases, literally less than ten students. In other cases, they're bigger, more like 90 in the case of brown university, but nearly all of them give these students heightened levels of attention.
They're going to help you network and get into internships and research opportunities.
All kinds of really wonderful opportunities. If for sure you're going to be a doctor and you want to move into that track, boy, it really can be nice to have so much support, right from the beginning, from resourced laboratories and hospitals and really intelligent and competent doctors and professors.
But on the other hand, if you're not fully confident that you want to be a doctor at age 16 or 17 when you need to finalize your application for these schools, it could be a major drawback.
Essentially, for most BSMD programs, you are choosing two colleges at once.
That may limit your chances. If you were to study exceptionally well in undergraduate school, you might qualify or be competitive for a higher-ranked medical school or medical school. That's a better fit for you.
But you've already locked yourself in when you were 17 to a different medical school. Again, this kind of isn't, it depends on the situation because some of these programs are nonbinding, and that's important to know.
But some of them are binding. You are committed to that medical school.
Once you start your track, even though you've only begun college.
And one last thing, the price is not really going to change, and it's not like you get a discount for committing to two schools at once.
You're still gonna pay full tuition for the bs degree and full tuition for the MD degree.
Now, if you're 13, 14, 15, or 16 years old and you love science and you love helping people, what medicine and becoming a doctor, maybe a great fit for you, it may be perfect.
And also, teaching might be a perfect fit for you, or being an entrepreneur and helping people that way through your science skills and your people skills, or being an engineer and creating a lifesaving device of some kind.
There could be a number of different fields that are just perfect for you that aren't medicine.
One of the first pieces of advice that I have for students who are considering this track is that you, first of all, follow the strategy that we talk about in the Ivy League Challenge.
Those things that help you stand out in highly selective universities are the exact same things that will help you stand out in a BSMD application pool.
Absolutely. You should arrive at a high level of self-awareness and be familiar with your core values.
And you should spend time figuring out how to be courageous in aligning your life choices with those core values and your interests.
You should make it clear that you don't just follow the crowd. You don't just try to fit in and do what everyone else does. You're not trying to fit in and do what all the ambitious kids do. Either.
You're not trying to just do what everyone else does but do it better. To stand out.
Then you make decisions on a daily basis that align your life choices with those core values.
As you do that, you decide on an impact project, a problem that exists in your community that violates one of your core values that you can spend your time and your energy and your heart, and soul to figure out how to solve.
As we talk about in the Ivy League Challenge, there are nine different kinds of impact projects that are highly impressive to admissions officers.
Any one of them is a great option for BSMD tracks as well.
In addition to all of that, I strongly recommend that you spend time actually shadowing a doctor or several different doctors if you're going to be sure that your love of science and your love of helping people comes together just perfectly in the medical arena.
And that becoming an MD is the key to having the life that you want.
Then you should spend some time shadowing a doctor and seeing what it's actually like.
Also, I really recommend talking to doctors and just interviewing them, spending time at lunch or whenever you have the opportunity, and just asking them what they love about their job.
What they wish they did when they were younger to prepare, and what advice they might have for someone your age.
You might be surprised that the job itself is a little bit different than you expected, or maybe it's a good fit, but it might not be as good of a fit as you thought.
And then you really should be careful about whether or not you decide to apply for one of these tracks.
If you do, and you're not positive that this is what you want for the rest of your life.
Then at the very least, you should be applying for tracks that are nonbinding or at schools where your bachelor's degree is going to be something that you're proud of even if you don't go into medicine.
Because these programs are so selective, they almost always include an interview.
And they're going to ask you questions about why you want to become a doctor and what previous medical experience you've had, why you're interested, and why you're so sure that you want to join this kind of commitment in an 8-year track.
And I think those are valid questions to ask that I think you should begin asking yourself today rather than waiting until the admissions interviews happen.
But for the right students, this is an amazing opportunity. You can know ahead of time that you are on track to get into medical school and to become a doctor, which you've always dreamed of doing, because of how highly selective these programs are.
The Ivy League Challenge is the best way to prepare yourself to understand who you are at your core, at your best, and how to bring out the best of who you are, so that you can be competitive in these programs.
If you haven't listened to my podcast before and you've never heard of The Ivy League Challenge, I highly encourage you to look through the other episodes and pick out a few that really stand out to you.
I go into detail about how to land research positions or how to create a project that's impressive. Most of all, I talk about how to stand out when you're applying to highly selective programs.
There are tens of thousands of other applicants who are highly qualified and are also applying for that same spot.
There are very, very effective ways to stand out in those pools.
And I encourage you to start listening to those podcasts right away to just get a feel for how you can stand out more effectively.
If you like, participate in the ivy league challenge yourself, it's a 12-week online training that really takes you through all three phases of this process from self-awareness, which is phase one into your impact project, which is phase two, and into phase three, where we directly apply what you've learned in phases one and two to your application process.
To help you stand out and get admitted to your dream school, go to tilc dot to forward slash weight list to join the weight list. And to get a link just reach out to me directly.
If you feel it would be helpful for you to chat with me to know if the ivy league challenge would be a good fit for you.
Until next time be bold and ambitious, but be smart about it. And let me help you through that process.