Younger students who are potentially interested in BS/MD programs often ask what they can do to make themselves the best candidate. Here are 6 steps that freshman and sophomores can take to strengthen their eventual applications.
Step 1, get good grades. At a minimum, you need to be in the top 10% of your class and to be the most competitive, you should be in the top 1 or 2% of your class.
Step 2, take the right classes. You need to take the most challenging courses available to you at your high school. You also need to make sure that you take a class in biology, chemistry and physics if they are available to you. If there are advanced classes in these science courses you should be taking those advanced classes.
Step 3, prepare early for the SAT and SAT subject tests. For most students it does not make a difference if you take the SAT or ACT. However, a few of the BS/MD programs require the SAT so that would be the preferred test. If you do better on the ACT, just understand that there may be a few schools that you will not be able to apply to.
For the SAT subject tests, you should plan on taking a subject test in Math, preferably Math II, as well as the subject test for Chemistry.
Step 4, arrange to do some physician shadowing. Ideally, the shadowing should last for a least several days and preferably occur with several different physicians.
Step 5, volunteer at health related facilities. It does not matter what type of health related facility you volunteer at but you need to have some volunteer activities. The more time you spend in your volunteer activity, the better.
Step 6, try to arrange to do research in some science or health related field at a local college or business. Most competitive students will have engaged in scientific research at some time before their senior year in high school.
There you have it, the 6 steps to get you ready to be a competitive candidate for the BS/MD programs. Of course, these are just the first steps toward a acceptance into a BS/MD programs. It is still critical to choose to apply to the most appropriate programs for you and then to prepare your essays as part of the application process. But without these first steps, your chances of acceptance into a BS/MD program are unlikely.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.