At this point, I am interested in becoming a primary physician. What are your thoughts on whether I should apply for combined BS+MD program at Drexel University, or shall I go for an undergrad degree first at an ivy league? I am torn between the two options.

2 Answers

Jeff Williams Points0

Combined BS/MD programs are a great way for very motivated and driven students to get two degrees in [usually] a shortened timeframe than if they did the two degrees separately. Two important things to consider:

1. The accelerated programs tend to be very structured, with little flexibility in terms of course selection and ability to minor or explore coursework outside of your major. Also, summers are usually spent taking classes as a way of cutting down the timeframe.

2. Most of these programs do not actually guaruntee admission to the medical school at the point of admisison from high school; you still must satisfy certain requirements in order to continue in the program, such as minimum GPAs and MCAT scores.

The quesiton of which program is a better fit for you depends on what level of experience you have had in the medical field to be making the decision at this time. For example, if during high school you have had the opportunity to do research at a lab, intern at a local hospital, or another form of substantive experience in the medical field, I think you have a good sense of what it means to be a doctor. If you feel sure it's the path you want and are not concerend with the above drawbacks, a BS/MD program would be a good fit for you.

However, if your experiences mostly include things such as pre-med club, an internship doing administrative work, or attending a pre-med conference, I think you might be better served attending a traditional undergraduate program where you can gain more experience, get more preparation, and make a better informed decision regarding your longer-term educational goals. Additionally, after a fruitful college experience, you'll be a more competitive applicant to medical schools since you will have gained more experiences and a stronger resume while an undergraduate. You might get into an even better medical school! The fact that you're torn on it means you might not be quite ready to commit to this type of program and would benefit from doing a traditional college program. Doing it at an Ivy League school - well, that'd be just great!

All that being said, you'll never know unless you try! If you are accepted, you don't necessarily have to go. And if you do go, you don't necessarily have to finish (I'm sure you would be able to decellerate to a traditional four year program). 

Hope this helps. Good luck in your decision!

Kristen Moon Points0
Many aspiring pre-med students will apply to both prestigious pre-med programs (such as the Ivies) as well as BS/MD programs. It is a good idea to split your college list between both types of programs. This way you can weigh your options once the acceptance letters come in.

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