I am surprised by how often I am asked “do you have to attend a BS/MD program if accepted?
The quick answer is NO. Even if you initially agree to attend a BS/MD program, you can opt out of that program at any time up to the time you finish medical school. Students opt out most commonly because they realize that medicine is not the right route for them. Others opt out because they have decided to apply to a medical school other than the one they have the guarantee at. But, regardless of your reason, you are not bound to continue the program if you choose not to.
Obviously, if you drop out of the program during the college years, you will lose your guaranteed seat at the medical school. The other issue that might require some thought is how to finish your undergraduate degree if you drop out of the BS/MD program. With 8 year programs, this is rarely an issue because you will still have a completed undergraduate degree by the time you finish college.
But with most 7 year programs, you don’t get a college degree until after you first year of medical school. What happens if you drop out your first year of med school? Usually you would just work to complete a major through the college and hope that the med school credits counted toward that major.
Dropping out of a 6 year program creates more uncertainty because you only have 2 years of college if you decide to drop out your first year in med school. You would need to take additional classes and again hope that the college would agree to take some of the med school credits to use toward your undergraduate degree.
No one wants to think about changing their mind about becoming a doctor but if that happens to you at least you know you will still have options.