High school students interested in applying to medical school might think that their only path to medicine is by attending an undergraduate school, declaring a STEM major, and having an extracurricular resume filled with medical-based volunteering and research experiences before applying to medical school.
Luckily, this isn’t the case. High schoolers committed to a career in medicine can also apply to direct medical (also known as BS/MD, BA/MD, BS/DO, and BA/DO) programs. Once a student is admitted into the competitive program, they are guaranteed a seat in the 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 in a set schedule, select a specific major or attend school over the summer, there are direct medical programs that are more flexible.
BS/MD counselor and current Brown PLME student, Nidhi Bhaskar says, “One misconception students have about BS/MD programs is that to be accepted, you have to be solely focused on STEM, with no time for anything besides medical-based activities.” She explains that some BS/MD programs allow students to have an undergraduate experience filled with diverse activities that are nearly identical to the typical student.
Direct Medical, Brown University: Program in Liberal Medical Education
The Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) is one of the most prestigious direct medical programs in the United States. Not only is it the only direct med program paired with an Ivy League, but it is also one of the most flexible programs.
SUNY Upstate: Upstate Accelerated Scholars (UAS) Program
SUNY Upstate has partnered with 11 undergraduate universities to create a pipeline into their medical programs for exceptional high school students. Students in the UAS programs have some significant advantages: not only do they not have to take the MCAT, but the GPA requirements are also reasonably set at 3.5.
Find out the details and five of the most flexible direct medical programs out there, check out our latest article on Forbes.