Insider Tips for Getting Admitted into Youngstown University’s BaccMed Consortium

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Youngstown State University (YSU): A public university in Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border, that’s making a name for itself by partnering with two medical schools to help students progress toward medicine.

YSU is home to two direct medical pathway programs. These types of programs attract students who have already shown a strong interest in joining the medical field. YSU-BaccMed Consortium provides students with a specialized premedical curriculum for their undergraduate studies and the potential for early assurance at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) or Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).

Interview with Youngstown State University’s BaccMed Consortium

Moon Prep sat down with Johnny Ware, coordinator of student enrichment and diversity programs at YSU. The interview covers how students can be strong candidates for direct medical programs while providing details about the application process.

Kristien Maan: Are you looking for a specific type of student for the YSU-BaccMed Consortium?

Johnny Ware: We prioritize well-rounded students and assess them based on the student’s overall application. We have a very holistic process. Of course we have a lot of students who are doing research or doing clinical volunteering or shadowing, but we are looking for students who also do more than that. We want to help create well-rounded doctors, so being articulate and interacting with different types of people is another thing we prioritize when accepting students.

Successful candidates for the program also usually have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and a 26 ACT or 1240 SAT. They will also have taken rigorous courses in science and mathematics. That said, we have some flexibility in requirements and will not turn down a great student if their SAT or ACT score is slightly below the minimum requirements.

We’re also looking for people who sincerely want to be doctors, not just because their parents told them to. When reading the admission essays, we love to see the stories of the students and their true feelings about their journey into medicine.

Moon: What type of major can students choose?

True: We have two tracks: biology and biochemistry. For the major in biology, you also get a minor in chemistry, and if you do a biochem major, you get a minor in biology.

You can also take a minor in other subjects. For example, we’ve had students take minors in psychology, foreign languages, etc. Many of our students come in with Advanced Placement (TBEN) or College Credit Plus (CCP) credits, so they have more flexibility in schedule, giving them an extra pick up minor.

Moon: Can students in the YSU-BaccMed Consortium study abroad?

True: Yes, that possibility is there. To be eligible for the YSU-BaccMed Consortium, students must apply to the honors college. Through the honors college we are doing a mini study trip abroad of three weeks to the Bahamas. There’s a small chance you could do something like that.

Moon: What is the selection process?

True: Last year was the first year that the honors college took over the selection process from the YSU-BaccMed Consortium. To help, we’ve brought in doctors and admissions officers to review all applications. This year, for the 2022-23 admission cycle, we are doing something different and organizing Experience Days, where students can visit YSU and meet people in our admission office before even applying. This way we get to know the applicants a little better.

Moon: Because of COVID-19, have you seen a change in the type of activities students pursue?

True: We saw students doing different activities at the beginning of the pandemic, but now we see the resumes include more volunteer work in hospitals and research opportunities. At YSU, our professors do a great job of jumping freshmen into a research team from freshman year of college.

As for virtual shading, we see some students who have no choice but to pursue virtual shading. We don’t see it as anything but ordinary shadows. If they don’t feel comfortable shadowing in person or it’s not possible, we’d rather they feel comfortable. In the end, they do get the necessary hours and information.

Moon: How many students do you accept in the program?

True: In total we take on about 35 students. We allocated 26 seats for NEOMED and six seats for LECOM. However, students who are underrepresented in medicine (African American, Hispanic, Latino, Native American) do not count towards NEOMED’s assigned seats. YSU can accept any number of underrepresented students for the program because NEOMED has focused on bridging the diversity gap. That is also a priority at YSU, certainly in the honors college.

Moon: What support do you offer students during the process?

True: We try to make good contact with the students while they are at YSU. We have monthly meetings with our BaccMed students to keep them on track and help them maintain their grades. If they get close to the minimum GPA, we try to help them bring it back up to par. Since I joined the program, no one has been kicked out of the program because of low grades.

We have a lot of contact with our students about fun events. For example, we host networking events so you can meet new cohort members, and we have BaccMed Olympics up ahead. We also bring doctors to the students to guide them through the whole process.

Moon: You have two collaborating medical schools: NEOMED and LECOM. Should students choose which program they are interested in when applying for the YSU-BaccMed Consortium?

True: No, students are not required to choose which medical school and track (MD vs. DO) before enrolling in YSU. The students select during their second year in the program. Before they make a choice, however, we try to educate the students about the different pathways and the medical schools. We make field trips to NEOMED, ​​an allopathic medical school, and LECOM, an osteopathic medical school. By doing this, they can visualize what type of environment would better suit them and their medical career.

Moon: What are the MCAT requirements to be admitted to the partnered medical schools?

True: For our partnership with NEOMED, ​​as long as you have an “A” or “B” in Organic Chemistry 1 or 2, you need a minimum score of 500 on your MCAT. However, we encourage them to get a higher score if they want to enroll in other medical schools.

You don’t need to take an MCAT for LECOM, as long as you maintain the required GPA and get the necessary credits.

Moon: Any other highlights from the program you’d like to share?

True: One of the biggest highlights is that you can research from scratch. Another highlight is the smaller class sizes, which give you more one-on-one time with your professors. I think that can be helpful for students when it comes to help with studying or doing their job.

Another thing that works well for this program is that no one is fighting for a seat in medical school. That means people can come in and find a strong group of friends to study with and help through the tough road to medical school.

There are also people in the Honors College to help with MCAT studies, preparing for medical school interviews, and anything else to help them in the medical school journey.

For more information, check out the full interview with the YSU-BaccMed Consortium, check out their website, or email questions to Mr. Ware at [email protected] The TBEN for applying to the YSU-BaccMed Consortium is November 15.