In recent times, we’ve become more aware and appreciative of the important work medical professionals do. We need doctors now more than ever. In fact, The Association of American Medical Colleges notes that the US will face a shortage of physicians in the next decade.
Calling all future doctors
For students who have the dream, desire, drive, and dedication to become a doctor, an interesting educational option exists: Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine (BS/MD) programs. These pathways to both an undergraduate degree and medical school can be a great option for students who are set on studying to become a doctor.
There are more than 7000 higher education institutions in the US, and almost 70 institutions offer BS/MD or similar programs. These programs can vary based on degree type, time commitment, and conditional acceptance.
A Closer Look at Some BS/MD Schools
One of the schools that offers this pathway is Baylor University, which grants 6 outstanding high school students provisional acceptance to its 8-year program with the Baylor College of Medicine. There’s another path to Baylor’s med school: Rice University partners with Baylor College of Medicine for its Medical Scholars program.
For students accepted to Franklin Pierce’s combined degree program, medical school moves to a tropical setting at St. George University in the Caribbean; SGU offers pathways to MD or DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine).
The state of New Jersey is host to a handful of BS/MD programs including ones at The College of New Jersey, Caldwell, Montclair, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Rutgers, many of which are affiliated with Rutgers New Jersey Medical school.
Brown University offers a unique program which students can tailor to their interests; No MCAT is required in Brown’s program for liberal medical education, which can allow for more time and opportunities for students like different internships and study abroad trips.
In addition to these, there are many more BS/MD programs throughout the nation to explore.
Pros and Cons
If you’re considering a career as a doctor, there are certainly pros and cons to consider regarding BS/MD programs.
On the positive side, some programs could provide an accelerated route through undergraduate and medical school. Typical medical school paths can sometimes take up to 11 years, whereas some BS/MD programs can be completed in 7 or 8 years. In addition, the conditional acceptance means less stress around the application process to med school.
However, acceptance to these highly competitive programs can be hard to achieve; These admissions can be even more selective than typical undergraduate programs. Also important for students to consider is the fact that these programs have a non-negotiable major; Students who choose this path are committing to their future in medicine at age 17 or 18.
At College Ready, the most important thing we know about matching students with schools is: it has to be the right fit. Exploring these different BS/MD programs through internet research, engagement with school staff and alumni, as well as college tours will be beneficial to aspiring doctors who wish to commit to a BS/MD program.