One of the big problems in offering great college advice is the false notion of one-size-fits-all. Most college guidebooks and websites try to do it all, aiming at the largest possible market. The problem is that individual students have individual needs. They don’t necessarily need to learn it all: they seek the best and most targeted advice to fulfill their needs and aspirations.
Fortunately, narrowly targeted college advice books are beginning to make their way into the field. For high school students who dream of becoming doctors, Todd A. Johnson’s BS/MD Programs: The Complete Guide is an outstanding resource.
Subtitled “Getting Into Med School From High School,” Johnson’s contribution to the field has a razor-sharp focus on early admission medical programs, or EAMPs. These programs provide a gateway directly from high school to medical school. As Johnson explains, many universities have created pathways offering a more direct route becoming a physician, and these programs sometimes shorten the distance between one’s freshman year in college and graduation from medical school.
The attractions of these programs are many. EAMPs can provide a sort of guarantee that can take the stress out of an undergraduate education. They can also reduce the number of years one must pay for undergraduate and graduate school. And they sometimes eliminate the needs to take the dreaded Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT exam. However, as Johnson takes pains to discuss, these programs are not for everyone. EAMPs can be very intense, academically challenging, and can reduce the number of electives one might otherwise be able to pursue while an undergraduate. Plus, admission to these programs can be devilishly difficult.
Fortunately, Johnson offers plenty of sound advice on how to prepare oneself during high school, how to construct the application, how to write the essays for both undergraduate and medical school, and how to handle the interviews.
But perhaps the best resource for prospective students—and for college counselors—is the rich directory of EAMPs around the country. Listed by state, the directory offers detailed information on admissions statistics, curriculum, and the general features of each EAMP.
This book is a must-have for college counselors. And if you’re one of those students who has dreamed of becoming a doctor since childhood, there is no better resource for exploring the early pathway options to enable you to move directly from high school to medical school.