Standout high school seniors who are passionate about medicine can potentially avoid the stressful post-bachelor’s degree medical school application process, and instead gain tentative entrance into medical school programs straight out of high school.
Combined BA/BS-MD programs are steadily gaining popularity throughout the U.S., as colleges and communities become more concerned about addressing the evident national shortage of health care professionals and the impending wave of baby boomers reaching retirement age.
During the 2000-01 academic year, the University of Connecticut at Storrs was among the first wave of universities to introduce a BA/BS-MD program it calls the Combined Program in Medicine (CPiM). Interested candidates are required to complete a medical school application in addition to the standard undergraduate application, report competitive grade point averages (GPAs) and SAT/ACT scores, and must exhibit a strong desire to enter in to the medical field.
After completing an undergraduate education on the Storrs campus, CPiM students head to the Farmington campus, home to the School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center, to complete their medical degrees.
Dozens of other U.S. universities also offer this option, include the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico. Though critics of the combined programs say that students might be limiting their options by setting their sights on medical school so early, program participants agree: The unique benefits and opportunities often outweigh these concerns.