Many students choose medicine as their ideal career. While the job itself is highly rewarding, the path to become a professional often requires many hurdles. BS/MD programs (also called “BA/MD”) aim to eliminate some of these barriers and streamline the process of training students to become medical practitioners.
How exactly is this done?
BS/MD programs accept very high-achieving high school students to participate in a combined undergraduate and medical degree plan. In other words, those accepted to BS/MD programs are often guaranteed admittance not only to undergraduate studies but also to med school (as long as they meet requirements along the way). And in some cases, students can entirely bypass taking the MCAT. These programs overall provide disciplined and eager students a pathway to practicing medicine that keeps the focus on learning and not on the application process.
These programs try to offer more than guaranteed admittance to med school, too. They also provide more opportunities to shadow doctors, participate in research, and get vital exposure to the medical field. Some even accelerate degree completion time from 8-9 years to 6-7.
In Texas alone, there are a handful of BS/MD programs, with the most prestigious being the Rice/Baylor program in Houston. Recently, UT-Austin piloted their own program, called SHAPE, but closed it. Similarly, UT-Dallas had a program, called PACT, but this year it will not accept new admits. Because of the changing status of these programs, and the seemingly narrowing pool of possibilities, BS/MD programs are becoming even more competitive--as if they weren’t already! (Rice/Baylor only takes six new students per year.)
Here are programs around the Lone Star State and their requirements:
Texas Tech: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/som/admissions/umsi.aspx
Even if you meet these requirements, know that you will have to maintain a high GPA (3.5 or higher) in college before going to your medical program. And many of the initial admissions processes include an interview to determine the most fitting candidates. But that shouldn’t deter anyone who has set their sights on a medical career! Just know that students with outstanding academic profiles and proven commitment to medicine through volunteer hours and extracurriculars often are most likely to be admitted. That sounds like you, right?
For more help on if you’re fit to pursue a BS/MD or for any other college-related assistance. Check out our programs at B2A and see how we can get you one step closer to saving lives and curing diseases.