“Why do you think that?” I asked. “You know that no one is guaranteed admission to BS/MD programs. We need to make sure that if you don’t get accepted, you have some good colleges as an alternative.”
“No problem”, the student told me. “If I don’t get into a BS/MD program I will just attend one of the colleges associated with the BS/MD programs.”
Makes sense; except it is not a good idea. Here’s why I insist that all of my students that are applying to BS/MD programs also apply to some traditional colleges. Some of these colleges may have you do a background check at crb direct. Students who are competitive for BS/MD programs have a very high chance of acceptance at the vast majority of undergraduate colleges associated with a BS/MD program. There are only a handful of the undergraduate colleges that are highly selective. So, the student was correct that there are likely going to be a number of undergraduate colleges where he would be accepted.
For the students applying to BS/MD programs, the real goal is always to get to medical school. If they can do so with a BS/MD program, that is the option they wish to take. But, if they are not accepted, their goal is the traditional route of four years of college followed by four years of medical school. So, why not just attend the BS/MD undergraduate college if the medical school doesn’t accept them?
The problem is that many of the undergraduate programs associated with the BS/MD programs are not known for providing a strong background for medical school if the student is not in the BS/MD program. A few of the undergraduate colleges associated with BS/MD programs do a good job with regular medical school placement, but they also tend to be the more selective colleges where admission is not guaranteed. On the other hand, there are many colleges, with a wide range of selectivity, that have great reputations for helping students get admitted to medical school.
If getting to medical school is the real goal, then my job is to help my students get there. If they can do it with a BS/MD program, great. However, if they are not accepted to a BS/MD program, they should attend a college that will provide them the strongest possible chance of acceptance to medical school through the traditional route.
That is why I insist that all of the students that I am working with that are applying to BS/MD programs also apply to some regular colleges that do a good job of placing students into medical school.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.