Class of 2026 - Seven-Year Dual BS/MD Program
"Hello! I’m Philip Parel and I’m a student in the 7-year BS/MD program at The George Washington University! My hometown is from Palm Beach, Florida and I double-majored in biology and chemistry as an undergraduate student.
My experience with the GW BS/MD program has exceeded my expectations at every level, to say the least. Some of my earliest memories of GW date back to my senior year of high school. I remember interviewing at several other BS/MD programs and what struck me during my GW interview was the amount of care that was given to us prospective students and our families. Not only were we privately catered lunch and received a sample chemistry lecture, but we were each individually greeted by the director for the program! After I committed to GW, I found that this sense of care continued throughout all levels of administration. The university provided me with pre-health advisors who not only helped me create my course schedules to fulfill the requirements of the program, but these advisors also granted me priority registration so that the BS/MD students were always the first to register for classes. Moreover, we also had direct access and contact to the dean of the medical school, Dean McQuail, so getting advice about how to best prepare for medical school or suggestions on internship opportunities were simply an email away.
Since the program accepts all AP, IB, and dual-enrollment credits from high school, most of my degree requirements were already fulfilled by the time I started school (which was also the case for many of my peers). This resulted in a lot of free time and great flexibility in my schedule, so I decided to invest this time into research. I found that the unique part about finding research on campus was that nearly all of my professors were familiar with the program and the rigor it takes to get accepted, so finding research opportunities was as simple as introducing myself as a BS/MD student. I did research at the NIH and the students in my batch have also interned at Children’s National Hospital, the Katzen Cancer Research Center, and even with the biology/chemistry professors on campus.
Despite the academic and administrative favorability at GW, I think my favorite experience with the program has been with my fellow students and the atmosphere of comradery I felt. At the beginning of every academic year, for example, we have a tradition where the oldest students in the program will organize a “BS/MD Get-Together” in which all the students in the program – undergraduate and medical – will meet at the national mall and picnic with the newly committed freshmen students in order to welcome them into the 7-year family. It was in these get-togethers that I met some of my best friends in college. Each cohort of BS/MD students is small enough so that we don’t compete against one another, but rather support each other in our endeavors. My friends not only took classes and studied for exams with me, but the older students in the program also guided me on the ”ins and outs” of GW – which professors to take classes with, where to intern, and which materials to study to do well in exams! In my experience, the administration has also been conducive to this familial environment – we have monthly book clubs with the Dean to meet up and eat pizza, and it’s quite rare for students to be exited from the program.
Overall, I’m overjoyed with my experience at GW. I’m glad that I ended up choosing GW over my other BS/MD options, and I’m really looking forward to welcoming the next generation of GW BS/MDs."