What sort of grades and test scores do you need to be competitive for a BS/MD? I generally recommend a minimum of 3.8 unweighted GPA and 2,100 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT. But what can you do if you are interested in BS/MD programs but your grades and/or test scores are lower than this ?
You have several options. Option one, the best in my opinion, is to be realistic and focus on finding undergraduate colleges that are an academic and social match for you that have a strong history of placing students into medical school through the traditional approach. This provides you with the most options and is the most likely to get you to your ultimate end of becoming a physician. Furthermore, this is the route taken by over 95% of the physicians in this country.
Option two is to apply to BS/MD programs and hope for the best. While anything is possible, it is very unlikely that you will be successful in applying to one of these programs with less than stellar grades and test scores. You may feel better being able to apply but in my opinion you are better off putting your focus where you are more likely to be successful.
Option three is to apply to BS/DO programs. Graduates of DO, or doctor of osteopathy, schools are fully recognized as physicians in the US and may become involved in any specialty. And, while they are still very competitive, BS/DO programs tend to be a little less competitive than BS/MD programs.
Option four is to apply to medical programs in other countries. The most common option here are the medical schools in the Caribbean, some of whom accept students into accelerated programs with their medical schools. The concern with this option is that the level of teaching can be inconsistent. Furthermore, physicians are required to pass certain tests to have a residency in the US and the pass rates for these medical schools is often much lower than US medical schools. Even if you pass these tests, getting into a residency can be more of a problem for students in these programs.
What is your best option if you don’t quite have the qualifications to be competitive for BS/MD programs? Investigate these other options and then choose the best option for you.
Hallie Chandler says
After doing quite a bit of research on my options, I found that attending Medical School in the Caribbean was the right choice for me. I am currently attending UMHS St. Kitts and I’m really happy with all that they offer.
Todd Johnson says
Cornell is not on the list because I receive conflicting information every time I talk with them. I have been told at least twice, by admissions officers that Cornell does superscore the ACT. I have been told at least twice that they do not superscore the ACT. I understand that it may vary from college to college but the admissions officers I have talked to did not make that distinction even when asked.