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Baccalaureate-MD Research Group. Highlights of “The Paper”. The Scope and Variety of Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs in the United States. Acad Med. 2012; 87: 1600-1608. The Authors. Bob Eaglen, Northeast Ohio Medical University Louise Arnold, University of Missouri-Kansas City

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Baccalaureate-MD Research Group

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Baccalaureate md research group

Baccalaureate-MD Research Group

Highlights of “The Paper”

The scope and variety of combined baccalaureate md programs in the united states

The Scope and Variety of Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs in the United States

Acad Med. 2012; 87: 1600-1608

The authors

The Authors

  • Bob Eaglen, Northeast Ohio Medical University

  • Louise Arnold, University of Missouri-Kansas City

  • Jorge Girotti, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Ellen Cosgrove, University of Washington

  • Marianne Green, Northwestern University

  • Don Kollisch, Sophie Davis

  • Dani McBeth, Sophie Davis

  • Mark Penn, Roseman University of Health Sciences

  • Sarah Tracy, University of Oklahoma



  • Proliferation of new and defunct programs

  • Low profile in the academic medicine community and recent literature

  • Diversity of program organization and functions

  • Recent calls for re-examination of admissions pathways and criteria

Definition of a combined program

Definition of a Combined Program

  • Open to applicants at high school or early college level

  • One or more years of baccalaureate course work and a complete medical school curriculum

  • Medically related learning experiences provided during the baccalaureate phase of the program (integration)

  • Either a conditional guarantee of medical school admission contingent on satisfactory academic progress, or

  • A high likelihood of medical admission upon satisfactory completion of the baccalaureate phase

Major findings

Major Findings

  • 57 Sponsoring medical schools, 81 distinct programs

  • 79% of programs recruit high school students

  • Principal goals:

    • Recruit honors students (52%)

    • Shorten pre-medical phase of education (28%)

    • Recruit minority and/or disadvantaged students (25%)

    • Decrease competitive pressures (25%)

    • Integrate liberal arts and medical sciences (22%)

    • Emphasize care for the underserved (20%)

More findings

More Findings

  • 79% of programs for high school seniors are 4+4

  • 40% of programs admit ten or fewer students per year

  • Four medical schools admit over 50 students per year

  • Curricular integration across program is typically modest, mostly at baccalaureate level

  • Admissions and academic progress requirements highly variable, reflecting varied structure and goals of programs

Looking ahead questions and challenges

Looking Ahead: Questions and Challenges

  • Are baccalaureate-MD students less mature than traditional pre-med students?

  • Are graduates of baccalaureate-MD programs distinctive in any clearly identifiable ways?

  • How do programs justify their continuation?

  • Few outcomes studies have been published

  • What kinds of admissions criteria are needed or relevant when the applicant pool consists of high school seniors?

  • Comparative studies need to be carefully designed to account for program variation

The research group

The Research Group

Where Do We Go from Here?

Research ideas emerging at the meeting

Research Ideas Emerging at the Meeting

  • Stigmatization of baccalaureate-MD students (New Mexico has already started on this)

  • How service learning is being incorporated in baccalaureate education

  • Adopting a competency framework for both baccalaureate and medical school education

  • Program outcomes and documentation of effectiveness

  • Why programs wither or go “on hiatus”

More research ideas

More Research Ideas

  • Identifying and nurturing critical thinking skills and help-seeking behavior in baccalaureate-MD students

  • Are students in accelerated programs less mature– where is the evidence?

  • Advising and supporting students who commit to a career as high schools students (any may have later regrets)

  • How much of a dent in overall student debt can combined programs make?

  • Enrollment management for multiple program paths

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