Combined BSMD Programs Are Your Direct Path From High School to Medical School

I'm going to share all about BSMD programs and how you can use them to streamline your path towards becoming a doctor. 

These combined Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine programs allow you to complete your undergraduate and medical school education faster than the traditional premedical student.

Another selling point of BS/MD programs is your guaranteed acceptance to medical school. This is huge in itself when you consider that 60% of first time applicants to medical school will receive the big R aka Rejection.

If you are lucky enough to get into one of these programs you can't just slack off because the BSMD programs have requirements which may include:

  • MCAT score
  • GPA
  • Community Service Hours
  • Health Related Activities

However, in the grand scheme of things these are minor hurdles to overcome if at the end of the day it means you'll be graduating as a doctor. Well technically in a few years.

Length of BS/MD Programs

The traditional route to becoming a doctor means going to a four year college followed by applying to medical school afterwards. 

Medical school itself will last four years. 

For the traditional student you are looking at 8 years of schooling after leaving high school until you are officially "the doctor".

So what makes the combined BS/MD program so special?

For one the time it takes to become a doctor can be shortened. Plus, if you are anxious about your chances of actually getting into medical school you will have less to worry about when you apply directly out of high school. 

Here's the length of direct BSMD programs:

  • 6 years
  • 7 years
  • 8 years

The combined programs that have a total length of 6 or 7 years are considered accelerated programs because you are shaving 1-2 years off of the traditional time it normally takes to become a doctor. 

If you're looking to start practicing medicine as fast as possible then you'll want to checkout the 6 year combined BS/MD programs. 

Do you know how time is shaved off the clock at an accelerated pace?

Medical school generally is not shortened, instead your time as an undergraduate will be shortened from four years down to two or three years. 

Accelerated Undergraduate Considerations

Most students graduate college in four years but since you're the cream of the crop you will graduate sooner.

How is this possible?

To get into many combined BSMD programs you will have to be an exceptional high school student who may have even taken AP courses in high school. What some colleges will do is give you credit for this coursework allowing you to move into upper-division classes ultimately allowing you to graduate  sooner.

This is not the case at all schools.

In other cases, you'll just have to work harder during your undergraduate portion of your BS/MD program. Working harder may mean taking a heavier courseload compared to your peers. Or it may mean taking classes over the summer.

Typically students who have goals of becoming doctors are smart so your college may even allow you to skip their Intro courses or general distribution requirements. 

At the end of the day you are going to need to get in a lot of classes in a compressed timeframe so you can move start medical school 1 or 2 years sooner than the typical premed student. 

My undergraduate school had the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) (subsequently discontinued in 2020 after over 60 years) which was an accelerated and direct pathway to medical school. I distinctly remember one of my classmates Sheila was apart of this program and she had a very rigorous curriculum. 

However, I was shocked to learn one day while studying in the library that since she was an HPME student she would officially be graduating from undergrad and moving onto Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine to become a doctor.

One huge benefit of the program was that she never had to worry about applying to medical school. 

Now that I think about it there are significant cost savings too. You don't have to pay tuition for the year you skipped plus saving a couple thousand dollars on medical school applications which you avoid. 

Are You Sure Medicine Is For You

If at any time you decide medicine isn't for you for whatever reason you are not obligated to complete the program and go onto medical school.

I know this may come off as blasphemy to some.

But students do change their minds, grow up, have new life experiences and just determine medicine is not the shiny object they thought it to be. At your age you may not believe me but as you get older you'll begin to see what I mean.

This is why I always counsel students to choose a college that they'll be happy to attend regardless of their medical school aspirations. You want to be proud of where you go to college and not think of it as a means to an end.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, what about the diehard high school students who want to get  into a BS/MD program?

Help for Getting Into BSMD Programs

Getting into college let alone medical school is extremely competitive. Just as an FYI did you know that between 50 to 60% of first time medical school applicants do not get into medical school. 

I don't even want to consider how the numbers must look for an individual trying to get into a combined BS/MD program. It has to be incredibly tough and even just one slip up can derail all of your chances of becoming a doctor especially if you're set on the accelerated track.

But all is not lost.

There is direct to medical school advising available. 

Did you know you can get help with the key parts of getting into a BSMD program such as:

  • Application Planning
  • Application and Essay Editing
  • Interview Preparation

You already know the odds are pretty much stacked against you, so it is very important that you use every resource at your disposal to give yourself the competitive advantage to realize your dreams of becoming a doctor. 

If you're in high school and thinking about going to medical school then you'll want to have me on your team.