High school students interested in applying to medical school may think that their only path to medicine is to attend college, declare a STEM major and obtain a Extracurricular CV Full of volunteer and medical research experiences before applying to medical school.
Fortunately, this is not the case. High school students committed to a career in medicine may also apply to direct medicine programs (also known as BS/MD, BA/MD, BS/DO, and BA/DO). Once a student is accepted into the competitive program, they are guaranteed a seat in medical school as long as they continue to meet the undergraduate requirements.
While some of these programs are rigid, requiring students to complete their courses on a set schedule, choose a specific major or go to school during the summer, there are direct medical programs that are more flexible.
MBBS/MD advisor and current Brown PLME student, Nidhi Bhaskar He says, “One of the misconceptions students have about MBBS programs is that in order to be accepted, you must focus only on STEM, with no time for anything other than medical activities.” She explains that some undergraduate/general medicine programs allow students to have a college experience filled with diverse activities that are nearly identical to the typical student. Here are five of the most flexible direct medical programs.
Brown University: Program in Liberal Medical Education
Liberal Medical Education (PLME) Program It is one of the most prestigious direct medical programs in the United States. Not only is it the only direct medical program associated with the Ivy League, but it is also one of the most flexible.
Students can declare a major in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, or behavioral sciences, which makes it a great path for students wanting to explore other interests. While the program is eight years in length, students have the option of taking a gap year before starting medical school. By taking advantage of the year by pursuing opportunities in education, research, public service, healthcare, government, or business, PLME students can work towards becoming more experienced physicians.
Bhaskar has benefited from the flexibility of the program with a triple major in Public Policy and Anthropology as well as Health and Human Biology. Before entering medical school, I took a break year and earned a master’s degree in medical anthropology from Oxford University. Bhaskar believes that these diverse activities have helped her explore her unique interests and will eventually help her become a more engaged physician.
The PLME also offers Scientific Concentrations, an elective program where students create an academic product, which may be a curricular project, a research paper, or a manuscript in a specific area of interest. Some of the majors that students can explore include global health, translational research in medicine or biomedical informatics.
Through PLME, students can live out their lives as a typical pre-medical student without the added stress of taking the MCAT or applying to medical school at the end of their undergraduate education. As long as they remain in good academic standing, they are guaranteed a place at Brown University’s Warren Albert School of Medicine.
SUNY Upstate: Accelerated Rural Scholars Program (UAS)
SUNY Abstat has partnered with 11 undergraduate universities to create a pipeline in its medical programs for exceptional high school students. Students in UAS programs have some significant advantages: not only do they not have to take the MCAT, but the GPA requirement is reasonably set at 3.5.
Another advantage of this program is that students are encouraged to explore non-traditional disciplines. “We have had students apply to and get into the UAS program with majors like political science or computer science,” Bhaskar says. “It is ideal for students who want to explore non-traditional pre-medical interests.”
SUNY Abstat has partnered with the following universities:
- Adelphi University
- Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
- Hampton University
- buy college
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- State University of New York Polytechnic Institute
- State University of New York College of Environmental and Forest Sciences
- Spelman College
- Syracuse University
- University in Albany
- Yeshiva University
University of Oklahoma: Medical Humanities Scholars Program
The University of Oklahoma Medical Humanities Scholars Program is another direct medical program that allows students to choose any major within the school. With a strong focus on the liberal arts, the program seeks out students with a general interest in the arts, humanities, social sciences, or social determinants of health.
One of the unique aspects of the program is that students must have minors in the medical humanities, but it can be customized according to their interests. Some examples of what students have done include examining cross-cultural perspectives on health and disease, spirituality, medicine, bioethics, and health inequalities.
During the eight-year program, students are encouraged to pursue some of the abundant research opportunities or study abroad programs.
College of New Jersey (TCNJ): 7-year medical program
Seven-year direct medical program TCNJ It is another flexible option for students who are considering the fast-track to medicine. Although the program is accelerated, students have a great deal of freedom with academics and can choose from different disciplines, including Biology, Chemistry, English, Economics, Mathematics, Spanish or History.
according to Dr.. Sudhir NyakCo-Director of the Program, “We are looking for students who want to enter a liberal arts college. While this is a Bachelor of Science degree, we want people who have non-traditional pre-medical experiences, see value in diversity and have plans to study abroad.”
Nayak sympathizes with his desire for students in the program to have time to grow and mature. The program encourages them to explore liberal arts classes or participate heavily in medical and non-medical activities.
The culture among current program students and alumni is also strong. The Alpha Zeta Seven-Year Medical Society is a founding club that helps build community among current students as they tend to have a variety of specialties. The association also brings in alumni and hosts events so students can learn tips from past students.
There is also no minimum MCAT for students in the program; They just have to take the exam before enrolling in a medical school in New Jersey.
University of Cincinnati: Communications Program
The University of Cincinnati Connections program is another flexible option that allows students to explore disciplines outside of traditional science. It requires students to graduate with a minor or major in the medical sciences, but students are welcome to double their major in the program.
“Students with a lot of undergraduate credits from dual-entry, AP or IB courses can really benefit from the flexibility of this program,” Bhaskar says. Although this is not an express program, if students finish their major requirements early, they can pursue other opportunities such as research, internships, double majors, and dual degrees prior to enrolling at the University of Cincinnati Medical School.
Students will also automatically join the university’s Honors Program, which gives them unique access to leadership, research, and community engagement opportunities.
Flexible Direct Medical Programs: Choosing the Right Program for You
High school students interested in medicine, with various other interests, can take advantage of these five flexible direct medical programs as a way to secure their path to medicine. As you do your research, take the time to make sure you find the right research for you and your future.