I have been getting many emails and telephone calls asking if the admission criteria for BS/MD programs was different this year than in past years. Basically what they are asking is, was it more difficult to get into a BS/MD program this past year.
Although there are minor changes that occur every year from application deadlines to grades and test scores needed, in general terms this past year was no different than any other year. What admissions committees are looking for in a candidate rarely changes from year to year.
You need good grades, test scores, health care related volunteering, doctor shadowing and some research is nice to see.
The relative importance of each of those issues may change from year to year at individual programs. For example, historically the BS/MD program at Case Western has seemed to put a fair amount of emphasis on research experience. But, I was talking with the director of admissions at Case several weeks ago who said that the medical school isn’t that concerned about a heavy research background. They are more interested in students who can demonstrate their passion to become a physician. That’s not to say that a great deal of experience in research is bad, it just is one aspect of admissions to that program.
If you have the fundamental academic and experience background you may be a competitive candidate for a BS/MD program even if there are minor changes in the relative weight of each criteria among the various programs.