You don’t need to attend a BS/MD program if you want to become a doctor. But, for the right student, a BS/MD program might be a great option.
So, who is the type of student that might want to consider a BS/MD program? First, you need to have great grades and test scores. Most BS/MD programs have minimum grade and test score requirements to even be considered. You will want at least a 3.8 unweighted GPA and preferably above a 3.9 unweighted GPA along with a rigorous curriculum. You will also need an ACT above 30 and preferably above a 33, or above a 1,450 and preferably above a 1,550 to be the most competitive.
Second, you need to be able to show a long commitment to becoming a doctor. This is typically shown by your activities. Several years of regular, consistent, health care related volunteering along with doctor shadowing are very typical of strong BS/MD applicants. Most strong applicants will also have some type of science research experience. If you have all of this background, you may be a competitive candidate for a BS/MD program.
So why is this type of program a good option? There are a number of potential advantages to the student considering a BS/MD program. The obvious advantage is that if you are accepted into a BS/MD program, you no longer have to worry about whether you will be accepted into a medical school. You are accepted.
These programs often have minimum GPA and MCAT requirements to advance to the medical school but these requirements are less than you would want to have if you were applying through the traditional route to med school. Some programs even waive the MCAT for students in the BS/MD program which can save you a lot of time and money.
Moreover, you often have more flexibility in the classes you take because you don’t have to focus just on the science classes. Want to take that interesting history course but not sure how med schools will view it? No problem with a BS/MD program.
An additional advantage to the BS/MD program is that many of them provide early access to the medical school in the form of research, contact with the professors and access to the activities of the medical school.
If the program is a 6 or 7 year program, you will also save significant amounts of money by not having to take classes and have room and board for that additional year, or two, of college.
Wow, this all sounds great. Let me start applying…. hold on. One of the big disadvantages of BS/MD programs is their competitiveness to get admitted. Admit rates for the programs run from about 1% to 8% so many well qualified students don’t get admitted. This isn’t meant to discourage you but you need to be realistic.
If you have the academic strength, and the activities to reinforce you interest, you might want to consider a BS/MD program on the way to becoming a doctor.