“We wanted to create a pipeline program that would encourage the best and the brightest students in Colorado to work hard and focus on the University of Colorado medical school as a goal,” said Dan Meyers, communications director of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Our goal for this program is to encourage [Colorado] students to stay in this state, which has a shortage of physicians in many counties and in neighborhoods within urban and rural counties.”
The BA/BS-MD program at CU Denver is open solely to Colorado residents. Similar to the University of Connecticut at Storrs, CU Denver has strict admissions standards. Interested applicants must have a 3.5 or higher GPA and have a Colorado Commission on Higher Education index score of 110 or greater. Once admitted into the program, students are required to participate in seminars and summer programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus, similar to a traditional medical student’s responsibilities.
“Students in this program are required to attend monthly co-curricular seminars throughout the academic year on the Anschutz Medical Campus taught by faculty, professional staff, residents or medical students from the School of Medicine,” said Meyers. “The idea is to weave medically-focused information into the regular class work.”
A wide range of seminar topics are available, and include: the History of Medicine, Medical Ethics, What is Public Health, An Overview of Anatomy and the Art of Dissection, What is Global Health, Community Service Learning, and Intro into Problem Based Learning.
Zane Sternberg, a current sophomore in Colorado’s BA/BS-MD program, is excited about the unique opportunities that the prestigious program offers him.
“I have lived on a small ranch outside the rural town of La Veta my entire life,” said Sternberg. “Many people have asked me whether or not I was ready to ‘narrow down’ my career choices so early in life. But when I think of going into medicine, I feel as though more doors are being opened than closed: It is such a diverse field. I could teach, volunteer, and work in a large hospital or even practice in a small town—like my parents.”
Meyers, a passionate advocate of Colorado’s BA/BS-MD program, believes that serious Colorado students could greatly benefit from all that the program has to offer.
“It is a great opportunity for a young student from Colorado who wants to become a physician and contribute to the healthcare needs of Coloradans to get into the pipeline to medicine early,” he said. “The program offers a rigorous academic track with additional learning opportunities in research and clinical care and other aspects of medicine. Participants in the program get the advantage of learning with their peers and more—engaging with the diverse college community at the University of Colorado Denver and medical students and others at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.”
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