How To Get Into Med School From High School
Have you had dreams of becoming a doctor ever since you were a little kid? Whether you want to own your own practice, work in a hospital, or achieve another aspiration in the medical field, we have important news for you.
Did you know you can get accepted into medical school straight out of high school? It’s true! In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on direct medical programs and how you can start preparing to apply for one today.
Apply for Direct Medical Programs
Many universities offer direct medical programs, or BS MD programs, that allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree before heading directly into a program to become a Doctor of Medicine (MD). This pathway provides a unique opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine to get accepted into a medical program straight out of high school.
Typically, BS MD programs take between 7 and 8 years to complete, with students spending either 3 years in undergraduate and 4 years in medical school or 4 years each in both undergraduate and medical school. However, some schools offer 6 year direct programs in which students will attend 2 years of undergraduate and 4 years of medical school with 2 summer terms.
Examples of famous BS MD programs include those available at Northwestern and Brown Universities, but these programs are offered at schools from across the country.
Here is a complete list of schools that offer BS MD programs for high school applicants:
- Albany Medical College
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- California Northstate University College of Medicine
- Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
- Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
- CUNY Medical School (Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Hofstra/Northwell School of Medicine
- Howard University College of Medicine
- Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville
- Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
- Mercer University School of Medicine
- Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
- Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
- Saint Louis University School of Medicine
- Stony Brook University School of Medicine
- SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Brooklyn College
- Temple University School of Medicine
- Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine
- Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- University of Alabama School of Medicine
- University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
- University of Colorado School of Medicine
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
- University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
- University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
- University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
- University of New Mexico School of Medicine
- University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
- University of South Alabama College of Medicine
- University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
- University of Toledo College of Medicine
- Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
- Wayne State University School of Medicine
Benefits of Choosing Direct Medical Programs
Any student interested in a career in medicine should consider the positives of applying to a college that offers a BS MD program. Let’s explore some of those benefits now.
Reduce Your Number of Years in School
Depending on which program you choose to attend, you may be able to lower the amount of years you spend in school. Most students who attend medical school will spend at least 8 years total in their graduate and undergraduate programs. With BS MD programs, you could lower that to only 6 or 7 years. This may not sound like a lot at first, but those few years can give you a huge jumpstart on your career.
Skip Taking the MCAT
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test that all prospective medical students must take. The scores are required at a majority of medical schools during the admissions process. However, if you apply to a BS MD program right out of high school, you may be able to bypass the test entirely by getting accepted to your future medical school at the same time as your undergraduate school.
It’s worth noting that not all BS MD programs will allow you to skip the MCAT though. Some may still require students to take the test and earn a good score while also maintaining their GPA throughout undergraduate.
No More Stressful Admissions Processes
Do you think applying for an undergraduate degree is stressful? Listen to this. Students aiming for a career in medicine who do not attend a BS MD program will have to endure another grueling round of applications (this time for medical school) at the end of their undergraduate careers. With a direct medical program, you can avoid putting yourself through that stress again by committing to your undergraduate and medical schools at the end of high school in one big admissions process.
Enjoy Enhanced Networking Opportunities
Since you will spend both your undergraduate and medical school careers around the same faculty and staff, you will likely make intimate, lasting connections with people in the community who can help you find your ideal job after graduation. You will always have someone available for a reference or to simply offer guidance when you feel stuck.
Cons of Choosing Direct Medical Programs
There are some potential downsides to BS MD programs that you should keep in mind before you make your commitment.
Stuck in One Place
Though some BS MD programs will have you transfer to a sister location at the end of undergraduate, many will have you attending the same university for another 3 to 4 years. For some, this may not be an issue. Others who are looking to travel more or experience new areas may find this limiting, so think carefully about your living preferences for the next few years.
Lack of Flexibility
If you commit to a BS MD program, you may be required to take a strict curriculum of pre-med courses. Students who attend undergraduate and medical school separately may enjoy more freedom in course selection for their undergraduate degree.
Similarly, you need to have an extreme degree of commitment to medicine if you want to enter a BS MD program. Students who drop out and attempt to apply to another medical school later may find themselves behind their peers or unable to apply to their top medical schools because they have not completed the required courses.
How to Prepare for Direct Medical Programs
Before you start a BS MD program, there are some steps you will need to take throughout high school and as you near graduation.
The average acceptance rate for direct medical programs ranges anywhere from 1% to 10% depending on the school you choose. Competition is tough, so you will have to prepare throughout high school to make sure your GPA and standardized test scores (SAT and ACT) are high enough to give you a good chance of acceptance.
Expand Your Application
Good grades aren’t everything though. One way to make your application stand out from the crowd is to show off your extracurricular activities. It’s important to demonstrate your commitment to medicine through these activities. You may want to volunteer at a clinic, work as a research assistant, or snag an internship at a public health office. Be sure to include stellar letters of recommendation from your science teachers too.
Do Your Research
If you have an interest in medicine, start researching BS MD programs as early as possible. Familiarize yourself with the requirements of programs at your favorite schools. We recommend making a list of the average SAT and ACT scores for admitted students as well as the average GPA. Then, you can focus your studying efforts accordingly and make sure you are prepared for the admissions process when the time comes.
For more information and the inside scoop on how to get into med school directly from high school, check out Dr. Shaan Patel’s webinar on 10 Secrets To Raise Your Child’s SAT/ACT Score, Win Scholarships & Get Into A Top College at PrepExpert.