Part of the problem is that there is no consistent terminology used with these programs. In general terms, however, early acceptance medical programs are what I refer to as BS/MD programs. These are the programs where high school students apply to college and medical school at the same time.
Early assurance medical programs, on the other hand, are those programs where college students, typically during the sophomore year, apply for admission to medical school.
Early assurance programs are generally not much different than applying to medical school through the traditional approach. These programs typically take the full 8 years to complete and virtually all require that students take the MCAT. Moreover, students don’t get the advanced contact with the medical school that BS/MD candidates do.
Early assurance programs aren’t bad. For the student who has some weaknesses as a BS/MD candidate, who needs time to develop their resume, they can be a good option. But they are very different from the early acceptance programs.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.