If you desire to be a doctor, you are probably curious about all the medical schools out there. Out of all the programs out there, you may want to take a look at the BA/MD or BS/MD programs. So, what are these programs? Have you never heard of them before?
Basically, BA/MD or BS/MD programs are combined educational programs that allow bright and motivated students from high school into an undergraduate institution and then right into a medical school. These students can skip the process of further application. That is a significant advantage because it is such a hassle to go through another application process, so why do it if you have an option to skip it? You will get to know about the BA/MD or BS/MD programs and their medical schools in this article of EduQuest.
Fierce competition for BA/MD and BS/MD programs
As is expected, there are not many positions available in these programs, and only a limited number of students get it. But that doesn’t mean that there is a lack of schools that offer these combined BA/MD or BS/MD programs. Numerous schools scattered throughout the United States offer students wanting to get into a medical school. But looking for those schools is the secondary task; the primary one is to access the disadvantages and advantages of these BA/MD and BS/MD programs for medical school aspirants.
A detailed explanation of what BA/MD or BS/MD programs are
As you have probably already figured out by the name of these combined programs, they offer you the option of a bachelor’s degree in Arts or a Bachelor’s degree in Science before you go on to medical schools. No future application process is needed, and students get directly admitted into a program for Doctor of Medicine in medical schools.
This process is like sidestepping further troubles because the high school students can opt for a rigorous admission process at the end of their term. Some of the applicants can also choose for a condensed application method in the starting time of college. This application will act as a combined application for both the undergraduate as well as graduate programs.
The notion of combined programs also restricts the prospective choices of the students because they will commit to a specific medical school or even a network of schools early on. Often, the medical school is associated with the institution offering the undergraduate program, or they may be a partner school in the same college network.
The SUNY and Texas University can be used as examples. They offer the applicants to choose among the numerous medical schools within the list of their partnered colleges. The situation is different for BU’s combined BA/MD or BS/MD programs as their students do not have a choice, and they have to attend BU for both programs.
What’s the catch?
The combined programs sound like a pretty great deal by now if you can get into one. They guarantee you a decent medical school, but these advantages come with conditions. The students will have to maintain a decent academic performance throughout their college classes. Some BA/MD or BS/MD programs still need their students to sit for the MCATS and perform well on that exam. Some of the offers of combined programs depend on the test performances as well as GPA maintenance.
How many years for BA/MD or BS/MD programs?
Most of you must know that for non-combined programs you will have to stay in school for 8 years, the deals are similar for the combined programs too. Direct programs will still require the students to stay for 4 years in the undergraduate program and then go on to medical school and study for four more years. But, the period is not the same for all schools because some programs also are of 6 years or 7 years. They manage to do this by compressing the time of undergraduate programs. California Northstate University is a great example because this school offers the students both options for an 8-year program or a 6 to 7 year combined program.
What happens in the short term combined programs?
Well, students who choose a six-year combined BA/MD or BS/MD program will have to attend only two years of school as an undergraduate and then move on to four more years in medical school. What about the seven-year program? They will have one extra year as an undergraduate compared to the 6 year combined program students. And the normal case of 8-year programs will result in attending 4 years in both the medical school and undergraduate school.
Should you or should you not opt for these?
This is a definite pro because the applications to medical school are an extremely stressful and competitive thing. If you get your way in a combined program, you can say goodbye to that additional stress of applying again to a medical school because you are already there.
These combined programs of BA/MD or BS/MD also offer applicants with fewer distractions. The students study for a medical degree, and they are sure about what they want in their lives. The programs give you a chance for full commitment to your goals in life.
Extremely gifted and talented students get into these combined programs for medical schools. So, many schools also offer their students financial aid, which helps in achieving goals. There are perks to getting through a rigorous selection process.
These are all advantages, but there are also some costs to these BA/MD or BS/MD programs.
Many of us figure out what we want to do later on in our lives. The combined programs leave little room for flexibility for high school students because they require an upfront commitment from them about their life path. Student’s aims might change and combined programs do not offer them that chance.
Giving up on a tough and selective program will be stressful too if you want to change your career path. If you do leave that program, probably you will have to face the issue of adding more semesters to your undergraduate program.
So, you should only apply for these if you are sure about your career choice and sticking around to the same location for 6-8 years (depending on the structure of BA/MD or BS/MD programs).
8 Years seem too Long?
As mentioned before, the combined programs often offer students the opportunity to finish their medical education within 6 or 7 years in some specific schools. This is known as the accelerated programs, like BA/MD or BS/MD programs of eight years, they have pros and cons to consider.
What do you gain in this medical program?
The accelerated program will have all the advantages that are mentioned earlier, but, on top of that, you can fulfill your dream of being a medical professional within a short period. Instead of the regular eight years, the programs lessen the period to 6 to 7 years for you to earn your MD.
There is also money to be considered. Because these programs go on for a short time compared to other programs, their cost is a bit less. But that does not imply that the students miss out on valuable learning because the accelerated programs have the same material, it is just that they go through it faster.
What are you losing?
We have talked about this before, but it is worth saying this again because now, this is more applicable to the shorter-term programs. Accelerated BA/MD or BS/MD programs need their applicants to be sure about their desire for medical school and their career path. Furthermore, the programs try to teach you a lot of material within a shorter time, so you will probably miss out on the regular experiences of an undergraduate. The pressure will be high and you cannot devote much time to exploration.
The cramped academic routine also translates to lesser opportunities for internships and summer jobs or even traveling.
What are your prospective choices of medicals schools?
For the ease of our future doctors, we have tried to form a list of the programs available. Before going into all of that, it is crucial to understand the classifications.
Some programs let students apply when they are in high school but some combined programs have the rule of applying only when the students are accepted in the undergraduate programs. That means you will have to apply for the BA/MD or BS/MD program as a college fresher or at the time of being a sophomore.
Some programs accept undergraduate students but some do not and various of the schools offer accelerated programs but not all of them.
Get to decide while still in high school!
These programs allow you to apply when you are still in high school. The programs are sorted according to the years of education. Some of the institutions might still make their students take the MCAT even after being accepted.
Wait till you get accepted
Now, those schools that insist on applying as an undergraduate, the list is down below.
|Institution Name||Time Period||Fees for freshman|
|Boston University School of Medicine (accepts international students)||8||$56,854|
|Northeast Ohio Medical University||8||Differs|
|Tulane University School of Medicine (accepts international students)||8||$58,850|
|Rutgers New Jersey Medical School / Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences (accepts international students)||7||$12,230 (in-state residents)|
|University of Florida College of Medicine||7||$6,380 (in-state residents)|
These dual programs are popular among the applicants and the medical school ones even more so. So, it is wise to do a comprehensive research about the school and its affiliated medical schools and fees, and so on. It is by no means easy to get into these combo programs because there is cutthroat competition. The acceptance rates vary between 1 to 5% because of the popularity. So make sure you want to be a doctor first because otherwise, it will be a huge waste of your precious time as well as your energy.