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Anyone have a DC apply to BS/MD programs?


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I’m interested in btdt stories if anyone has a student who has applied to one of these programs. 

My DD3, 16-year old junior, thinks she would like a career in medicine. I like the idea of going into undergrad knowing you already have a spot* in medical school. 

We personally know two students who have successfully been admitted (and completed, in one case) a BS/MD program, but I don’t know either family well-enough to ask about their stats or really dig into what they did to ensure admission.

So, I’m all ears if you know anything. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a link: https://www.minimedicalschool.com/ba_md_programs.html

*assuming successful completion of the undergrad program

Edited by fourisenough
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I haven't, but I had a client who was considering this path and ended up deciding against it because they're just so hard to get into. As I understand it, there are almost no programs with an acceptance rate above about 5%. My understanding is that it's a bit easier in a couple of states - I know New York and NJ both have some programs that used to be just for state residents.

It's rare enough that I would reach out to the families you know and just ask if they'd mind chatting with you briefly about it.

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@Farrar I may be able to reach the one student as he’s still in the program at CWRU and is a friend of older DD. IIRC, rumor was he had a perfect SAT score, and he was one of those frustrating kids who was also a great athlete and didn’t seem to have to study. (And he is a truly great human on top of all that!)

The other one must be in her 30’s by now (she was the oldest of her family and they were nearly done homeschooling when we were just starting in 2006). The program she did has changed and is now geared to increasing diversity and helping students with extreme financial need; my DD wouldn’t be a candidate for the program in its current iteration.

It’s probably a total long-shot for DD. Though she has the rigor/gpa/test scores, she has not done any shadowing/volunteering to demonstrate a strong interest in medical school. Although, due to COVID, my guess is nobody her age/grade would have those experiences either since it will have impacted their sophomore-senior years pretty heavily? Yet, I hate not to try just because it’s a long shot.

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I’ve looked into them briefly for Dd who is in 10th grade. She’s not had a chance to do any shadowing or volunteering due to the pandemic. If she were to go that route I would have her apply to schools that didn’t require MCAT but maintain a reasonable GPA. It’s just that it’s super competitive with very low chance of getting in (for DD) plus needing to apply to ordinary programs that we would just have to narrow BS/MD down to a handful and focus more on college applications. 

I don’t know if this true, I heard from several PhD/MD people that going through the PhD/MD might be easier than just applying to MD program. It could be that they were being humble, but  people like that don’t tend to be that humble lol.

We do sort of know one family that is applying to BS/MD, specifically Baylor. I haven’t asked them about it because I don’t really know them except through church (teen fellowship) but as soon as they have acceptances, Dd is planning to ask them to understand the process. 

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Baylor and some of the programs that pair with Rutgers are the two that are a little easier to get into. But still very hard.

I know someone who was rejected from an MD/PhD program who is one of the smartest, most overachieving people I know. As I understand it, they're much harder to get into. She ended up getting an MD/MPH. 

Schools say they're taking into account activities that a student planned to do if they already had their foot in (for example, a student who always did drama can be assumed to have been going to continue doing the school play that was canceled this year - that sort of thing). But if she wants to be competitive for any hard to get in schools, she should find somewhere to volunteer, intern, research, something... I can tell you that kids do have those things on their resumes. They're finding ways, doing things that moved online, picking up passion projects, doing virtual internships, etc.

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My dd's best friend and roommate at USC is in their BS/MD program.  Dd is in her sr which is her friends equivalent of 1st yr of med school.  Her friend is a extremely smart cookie who reads lightning speed, has an amazing memoring, and works pretty much non-stop.  In terms of stats, she is also a Top Scholar, which means she was selected as 1 out of a handful of students accepted for their top scholarship program.  She volunteered at local clinic throughout high school and has continued similarly throughout college.  I'd say she is a stellar student with a heart for medicine, but she is not the academic researcher like ds's friend whom I describe below.  Ds's friend is a notch above top student.  😉

Ds has a friend who went from Bama to Harvard-MIT's MD/PhD program. https://www.hms.harvard.edu/md_phd/program/index.html  Her bio below does not come close to encompassing her accomplishments as a high school student and an UG.

Here is a brief overview of her accomplishments.   https://honors.ua.edu/programs/randall-research-scholars-program/student-profiles/ (Alison Farrar.  CBH has been renamed to Randall Research Scholar.  It is the research honors program that both she and my ds were part of.  THrough the Harvard/MIT program she is currently doing a joint study at Oxford).   Here is another brief bio of her as an UG:  https://news.ua.edu/2017/04/four-ua-students-named-goldwater-scholars-in-2017/

Edited by 8filltheheart
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Okay, thanks for weighing in, @8filltheheart @crazyforlatin @Farrar Lots to think about. Although I doubt DD will go this route, I’m trying to brainstorm some ideas with her to gain some sort of relevant experience to (1) help her decide whether she wants to pursue a career in medicine and (2) build her resume. 
 

She recently read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and was deeply moved by and interested in the issues that it brought up. Also, throughout the pandemic we’ve closely followed news stories about the stark racial disparities in rates of Covid-19 illness and death. She seems interested in learning more about this topic, so I found an edX course through Georgetown entitled Introduction to Bioethics that she will begin soon. 
 

Can anyone think of any shadow/volunteer/research that she could pursue to develop these academic interests into some sort of applied experience? Due to Covid, everything that I know of (local hospital in-service/simulation lab for high schoolers and hospital volunteer program for teens) is not running and likely won’t be for the foreseeable future. 
 

I know there are very expensive pre-college programs that may run next summer, but it’s not in the budget, nor do I think you should have to pay big bucks just to build a resume for purposes of admissions. 

Edited by fourisenough
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There are some summer programs that aren't so costly. NIH has a summer program - it's very competitive though.

I would just generally look at the idea that if she wants to get into any really competitive school, that pushing for a good resume across the board will be something she needs. If she can't find specific medical volunteer things, she should look for other things - there are still a lot of basic community volunteer things going (soup kitchens, food pantries, etc. have not closed and churches have a lot of programs going), there are lots of citizen science programs in most areas that she could potentially engage in to show a general interest in biology, there are activism opportunities, she could do a personal project... 

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Honestly, she does NOT need to get into a really competitive school for UG.  BS/MD programs are extremely competitive, but that does not equate to a competitive school.  USC is not a competitive school.  If she really wants to pursue an MD, sure she should apply to BS/MD programs (all students are going to be facing the same practical limitations from Covid that she is), but reality is that she equally needs to be prepared to apply to med school in the typical way. 

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7 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Honestly, she does NOT need to get into a really competitive school for UG.  BS/MD programs are extremely competitive, but that does not equate to a competitive school.  USC is not a competitive school.  If she really wants to pursue an MD, sure she should apply to BS/MD programs (all students are going to be facing the same practical limitations from Covid that she is), but reality is that she equally needs to be prepared to apply to med school in the typical way. 

Yep, that’s my interpretation, too. I’m glad you mentioned USC’s program. It doesn’t come up on any of the ‘comprehensive’ lists of bs/med programs that I’ve seen. I wonder if it’s because interviews and admission offers are not extended until the first semester at USC (so one doesn’t know their status until they’ve already matriculated)? Either way, it sounds like a great program. I’ve found that a few schools have terminated or suspended their programs (Northwestern has permanently ended theirs and University of Cincinnati is not accepting apps this year, but hopes to in the future).

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1 hour ago, fourisenough said:

Yep, that’s my interpretation, too. I’m glad you mentioned USC’s program. It doesn’t come up on any of the ‘comprehensive’ lists of bs/med programs that I’ve seen. I wonder if it’s because interviews and admission offers are not extended until the first semester at USC (so one doesn’t know their status until they’ve already matriculated)? Either way, it sounds like a great program. I’ve found that a few schools have terminated or suspended their programs (Northwestern has permanently ended theirs and University of Cincinnati is not accepting apps this year, but hopes to in the future).

I'll ask dd about her friend's process.  I know that she refers to it as BARSC https://www.sc.edu/uofsc/posts/2018/12/fast_track_to_success.php   I'll post sometime tomorrow what she shares.

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2 hours ago, fourisenough said:

Yep, that’s my interpretation, too. I’m glad you mentioned USC’s program. It doesn’t come up on any of the ‘comprehensive’ lists of bs/med programs that I’ve seen. I wonder if it’s because interviews and admission offers are not extended until the first semester at USC (so one doesn’t know their status until they’ve already matriculated)? Either way, it sounds like a great program. I’ve found that a few schools have terminated or suspended their programs (Northwestern has permanently ended theirs and University of Cincinnati is not accepting apps this year, but hopes to in the future).

I think it doesn't come up because it's so new. But it looks like they only have seven students admitted this year. South Carolina may not be that competitive (though it's not a walk in at 65ish% acceptance) but that BS/MD program is obviously very tiny numbers. I agree with 8 though that she doesn't have to attend a really competitive school to get into med school. Look at the school's acceptance rates. There are some surprising things with this... some smaller schools and LAC's, including some smaller names, have really good numbers for getting grads into med school while others don't. Just something to be aware of. It's harder to evaluate with big schools because obviously there are more people applying.

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11 hours ago, Farrar said:

I think it doesn't come up because it's so new. But it looks like they only have seven students admitted this year. South Carolina may not be that competitive (though it's not a walk in at 65ish% acceptance) but that BS/MD program is obviously very tiny numbers. I agree with 8 though that she doesn't have to attend a really competitive school to get into med school. Look at the school's acceptance rates. There are some surprising things with this... some smaller schools and LAC's, including some smaller names, have really good numbers for getting grads into med school while others don't. Just something to be aware of. It's harder to evaluate with big schools because obviously there are more people applying.

Very good point. I stumbled upon a pdf from Rhodes College that outlines their pre-med advising process. It was incredibly thoughtful & detailed. I was impressed. Anyone know anything about Rhodes? Looks like a gorgeous campus, too!

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5 hours ago, fourisenough said:

Very good point. I stumbled upon a pdf from Rhodes College that outlines their pre-med advising process. It was incredibly thoughtful & detailed. I was impressed. Anyone know anything about Rhodes? Looks like a gorgeous campus, too!

Rhodes is lovely! Have her reach out to them. And to other schools... I mean, a lot of it is about figuring out if she wants a smaller school or a bigger one. And what the financial situation is. But part of how she can figure that out is by talking to colleges, doing their virtual events and tours, etc.

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I asked dd and she said they don't even do the interviews until Fall freshman yr.

 

I was also going to suggest investigating the pre-professional supports offered.   I know Bama offers a lot of support.  

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I know of one I don't see on your list - Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. 

This is from early 2016 but might give you an idea: 

The agreement is with St. Louis University School of Medicine. 

The program is for all four years of undergrad, and the student can apply to med school after completing sophomore year without taking the MCAT, and receive provisional admission. Entry limited to 6 incoming freshmen per year.

Edited to add the requirements to apply to the program: 30 or higher ACT and highs school GPA 3.75 or higher. 

Edited by katilac
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  • 2 weeks later...

As a follow-up to this discussion, I thought I’d come back to say that DD just got her admission to Michigan Math and Science Scholars:

https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/mmss/

@Farrar I looked into the NIH program you mentioned, but it’s for students who are 17 years of age or older, which DD is not. 
 

I don’t think DD will apply to BS/MD programs, but she’s kind of excited to do something sciency this summer, in addition to her usual ballet summer intensive. We’ve also decided to try to set-up a number of virtual shadow days with various health care providers we know to give her a bit more background/experience. Basically they’re going to look like extended interviews. Hopefully it will help her clarify what she’s interested in. 

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If your daughter is not applying to BS/MD programs, don’t worry about shadowing or intern kind of things now. Med schools really don’t care what you did in high school. They will look more at research, volunteering, shadowing kinds of things that you do in college. 

(I’m a pediatrician and have been involved in med school applications. 🙂

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