BS/MD Programs May Not Be For You

BSMD Programs, Straight to Med Programs, BSMD
BS/MD programs aren’t for everyone (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

Interested in getting into both college and medical school right out of high school and doing it all in seven years? If so, you’re not alone. And while each year we help students earn admission to top BS/MD programs at schools like Brown University and Northwestern University, it may surprise some of you to know that we don’t encourage applying to such programs. And why? Lots of reasons, but we’ll focus on five such reasons in this post to keep things simple. We are all about simplicity at Ivy Coach!

5 Reasons to Think Twice About BS/MD Programs

  1. You don’t want to emphasize when applying to elite colleges that you aspire to be a doctor. “Whaaaaat? But, Ivy Coach, I’ve wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. My mom and dad are doctors. My sister is going to be a doctor. I too wish to be a doctor. Why would I not express this when applying to college?” Because the game in highly selective college admissions is differentiation. A big reason why our students at Ivy Coach so often earn admission to their dream schools is because we help showcase the weird in them. Doing the same thing as so many other kids isn’t interesting. And, yes, tons and tons of college applicants want to be doctors. It doesn’t mean you need to showcase this aspiration on your college applications. Just because you watch TV doesn’t mean you write about your TV watching. And medicine isn’t a major at highly selective colleges. So it need not be referenced.
  2. It often makes it more difficult to get into the elite schools a student seeks to earn admission to by applying as a BS/MD applicant. In fact, at many of these schools, if you don’t get into the super competitive BS/MD program, you don’t get into the university at all. Who wants that? College admissions is competitive enough!
  3. Applying to such programs facilitates discrimination. “But, Ivy Coach, what ever are you talking about?” Well, in our experience, many Indian American students wish to earn admission to BS/MD programs. One does not face discrimination in highly selective college admissions on the basis of their race. However, when one plays into stereotypes associated with their race, then you bet discrimination becomes a major factor. And, yes, lots and lots of Indian American students, in our experience, aspire to be physicians. So now, if you’re an Indian American applicant, you’ve pigeonholed yourself. You’ve presented a similar profile as so many other Indian American applicants. In a process that values differentiation, you’ve done yourself a great disservice.
  4. Students who earn admission to BS/MD programs often attend less prestigious universities than had they not applied to BS/MD programs. Would you rather have brain surgery from a doctor who went to Harvard as an undergraduate or from Northeastern as an undergrad? Sorry, Northeastern…but Northeastern is not Harvard. And we certainly would choose the Harvard-educated surgeon over the Northeastern-educated surgeon every time out of ten. You know you would, too.
  5. Live a little. Your desire to become a doctor might change, as much as you or your parents might not think so. That year that you’re trying to save isn’t going to matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Don’t rush through your life. Take the time to smell the roses. They’re exquisite.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts on BS/MD programs by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!


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