The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) was born from the merging of Oakland University and the Beaumont Health System to create the newest medical school in Michigan. The school was begun to provide another source of physicians for Michigan and the surrounding area, but its curriculum was always envisioned as a “liberal arts education” combined with medical science. The school emphasizes its students develop holistically with as much training in humanities and social sciences, as medical science. This article will detail other important curriculum highlights and give you an inside look at how to get in.
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“To develop compassionate physicians who are dedicated to improving the health of their communities, collaboration, and lifelong learning.”
One of the first words in the mission statement is “compassionate” and that points to the school’s focus on creating physicians to excel medically but also develop humanistic qualities. The way the school embodies these qualities are the fact that its most recent class had performed over 165,000 hours of community and volunteer service and the school also places service in a medically-relevant area as one its criterion for potential applicants.
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Overall Acceptance Rate: 1.6%
In-State Acceptance Rate: 4%
Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 1.0%
Average MCAT of Incoming Students: 510
Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.84
Preference for master’s or PhD: No
Experience of Accepted Medical School Applicants
The school does not show any preference for in-state applicants over out-of-state applicants, but medical school acceptance rates for in-state as out-of-state applicants remain quite low. OUWB is also part of the larger Beaumont Health System, so it receives private funding, meaning it does not have an obligation to admit Michigan residents. The school charges out-of-state students the same tuition as in-state, so the OUWB is a very out-of-state friendly medical school.
However, all applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents to apply, including Canadian applicants. Applicants who have completed course work or earned a degree outside of North America must complete at least one or two years at a US or Canadian university to apply. Their foreign course work or degree must also be certified by the US or Canadian institution they attend.
Minimum MCAT to Apply: 495
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
OUWB is one of the few medical schools in the US that has a minimum MCAT score to apply. The minimum is not a suggestion; it is a cut-off. All applicants must submit their most recent MCAT score and the Admissions Committee will not accept scores older than four years. This requirement can be troubling for someone thinking how to get into medical school with a low GPA.
However, the school’s minimum cut-off is already considered a low score, so if you have that score or higher than you have a chance. If you still need to raise your MCAT, there are many options. You can take a free MCAT prep course offered by BeMo or engage a MCAT tutor, preferably a current medical student or a former admissions committee member.
Learning how to study for the MCAT can help you take the exam more effectively. If you do engage a tutor, they will also tell you when to start studying for the MCAT, and focus on your weak spots. As the school also has a medical school GPA requirement, you can also try to enroll in OUWB’s or any institution’s post-bac program for medical school to boost your GPA if it is below the 3.0 cut-off.
AAMC PREview Test
OUWB is not a medical school that requires CASPer, although many medical schools have begun using situational judgement tests such as the Altus Suite, which combines the CASPer, Duet and Snapshot tests, although some schools, such as the Michigan State University College of Medicine, require only CASPer. Other schools have opted to require the AAMC PREview test, which is a pre-professional competency evaluation that tries determine whether applicants have the non-academic skills to be doctors such as whether they are service orientated, are able to work on a team and have an ethical responsibility to others. Although it is not a requirement, the school “strongly recommends” that all applicants take the AAMC PREview exam and submit their scores with their primary application.
Coursework and Undergrad
The OUWB does not make having a full bachelor’s degree an explicit requirement for applying, but it does recommend that applicants have a degree to apply. It does not state the acceptable number of credits if an applicant has not completed a bachelor’s degree, but the school does require students to complete at least 24 credit hours within several science-based (biology, chemistry; but also, social science and math) subjects to meet the prerequisite requirements.
Prerequisites and Recommended Courses
The Admissions Committee does have a list of medical school prerequisites that it requires all applicants to show competency in, demonstrated by their GPA, MCAT and other academic stats. The school requires applicants to have earned at a minimum 24 full credit hours in these courses, but, of course, they can have more. Applicants who have taken the prerequisite courses online or in community college may apply them to the requirement, but they are also encouraged to take upper-level science courses to show greater competency.
- One biochemistry course
- One math or social science-based statistics course
- One chemistry, biology or physics course w/lab work
- One social or behavioral science course
The school also lists several recommended courses to bolster their education. The list of recommended courses includes:
- Behavioral Sciences
AMCAS Work and Activities
As mentioned, the OUWB mission statement is a reflection of its desire to train doctors who are more than competent but also compassionate, caring, and understanding. It places a heavy emphasis on service and medically-relevant experiences so you should keep that in mind when writing your AMCAS Work and Activities and AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences.
The school does not have a required number of clinical hours for medical school nor shadowing hours for medical school but that does not mean you should not obtain relevant experiences in the lead-up to applying. Since the school practices a holistic admissions process, it looks at all aspects of an application, not only the academic attributes and it grades them accordingly.
Sample AMCAS Work and Activities Entry
Type: Teaching/tutoring/teaching assistant
Name: Youth Arts Alliance
Hours: 15 hours/week
Most Meaningful: No
During the pandemic, I worked with high school students in Michigan to help them adjust to remote learning. I volunteered with the Youth Arts Alliance and tutored students who struggled with the transition. One student, James, had difficulty staying engaged during online classes. I worked with him one-on-one to break down complex topics and created interactive activities to make learning more engaging. With my help, John improved his grades and gained confidence in his ability to learn. Working with these students and seeing their progress has been a fulfilling experience, and I hope to continue making a positive impact on young learners.
Want to know why are med school prerequisites important? Check out this infographic:
The medical school personal statement lets all applicants show something personal about themselves, as it relates to their motivation for wanting to become a doctor. A good personal statement should reveal things about a candidate’s motivation but also the actions they have taken to demonstrate that passion and drive, such as taking pre-med courses, performing volunteer work or shadowing a doctor.
Another element to think about when writing the AMCAS personal statement is briefly telling the Admissions Committee something about yourself (family, hometown, hobbies, etc.) so they can see another side to you, which is as important as your academic achievements. The Personal Comments essay, as it is called by AMCAS, should be 5300 characters in length and typed directly into the dialog box provided.
The OUWB does screen applicants for whether they are eligible to receive a secondary application – MCAT and GPA – and those who are eligible are sent an email with instructions and medical school secondary essay prompts. The secondary application serves to give the Admissions Committee a chance to measure your suitability to the school’s mission and values, and whether, through your written essays, you exemplify the qualities they are looking for in a medical student.
1. How have your experiences serving others contributed to your personal growth, and how would your experiences contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in our community? (400 words)
2. Describe your motivation to attend OUWB. (250 words)
3. (Optional): Is there anything you want the admissions committee to know about your qualifications for medical school that are not already represented in your application materials? For example, if you have already graduated, briefly summarize your activities since graduation.
4. (Optional): If you are a reapplicant to OUWB, please describe improvements you have made to your current application from previous cycles (please include academics, experiences, and/or personal characteristics). (400 words)
5. Please describe how you have overcome obstacles or adapted during the COVID-19 epidemic to continue to show your commitment to serving the community and gaining meaningful medical experience. (400 words)
Sample Essay for Prompt #2
When I was in elementary school, my parent's sewing machine repair shop was robbed and vandalized. The detective who came said that it was possible no one would ever be caught. My parents accepted it and started to rebuild. In the middle of the repairs, the detective came by and said they had caught the people responsible. But they were all teenagers.
The detective explained that my parents could still press charges and they would be charged as adults. But my father said “no, let them go”. I couldn’t believe it. I expected my father to be as harsh with them as he was with me, but he decided to let them go. Only a few years ago, a man entered the shop and introduced himself. It was one of the teenagers who had robbed the shop.
He wanted to thank my father for not pressing charges and saving him from having a criminal record, which would have prevented him from, yes, going to medical school. My father later told me that he too got in trouble when he was a boy and that someone had forgiven him and he was only doing the same for this man.
My father is the person I would most like to exemplify as a physician because of his compassion. It’s his example that I want to follow and that is what motivated me to choose William Beaumont, since compassion is so integral to how the school sees medicine.
The school has a more relaxed approach to medical school recommendation letters than others. It requires a minimum of three letters and a maximum of five. The school advises students to secure a pre-medical advisory committee letter from their undergraduate university, which will count as two letters toward the minimum number.
For the third letter, applicants can decide on whom to ask (friends and family are strongly discouraged). But the school recommends obtaining a letter from a former science instructor or anyone who knows you well and can vouch for your embodying of the qualities the school’s is looking for, such as leadership, community service, compassion and academic fortitude.
The school anticipates it will hold almost 500 interviews this cycle starting in August and continuing on until March. After students write and submit their medical school secondary essays, the Admissions Committee will again consider every application holistically to determine whether to invite the applicant for an interview.
All interviews will be held virtually for the foreseeable future and the interviews consist of two separate panel-style interviews with a combination of faculty members, physicians, current medical students, and school administrators. The interview is blind, so interviewers do not have any information pertaining to the interviewees GPA, MCAT, letters of recommendation and other application materials.
Sample Medical School Interview Questions
- “Is it better to follow the law or do what is right?”
- “What are you most excited about in a career in medicine, and something you anticipate struggling with?”
Sample Interview Answer Question #1
Without getting too philosophical about the nature of right and wrong, I think that there are many examples throughout history when ignoring or breaking the law was a far more moral and righteous act than observing it, especially if it was preventing people from exercising their innate rights to expression, assembly, and suffrage. When I was arrested at a peaceful demonstration protesting an oil company’s refusal to pay for the clean-up of one of their oil spills, I knew that I was doing the right thing, even if the law said otherwise.
Acceptance and Waitlist Information
After the interview process ends in March, the school takes the entire summer to begin sending out acceptance decisions, as it performs a holistic review of an applicant's full application (primary, secondary, letters of recommendation, interview assessment) to determine who will receive acceptances, rejections or be placed on a medical school waitlist.
It uses a rolling admissions process to send out acceptances or regret letters so there is no schedule or timeline for when you hear back from med school interviews. Applicants placed on the waitlist are sectioned into three separate tiers (first, second and third); the school notifies each applicant of their tier, but it does not suggest or recommended if applicants can send updates about their application or whether they should contact the school at all.
Primary AMCAS Application Deadline: November 15
Secondary Application Deadline: December 15
The OUWB recommends students submit their application well before the November deadline, as it takes months to review each application thoroughly (it received over 7500 applications last cycle). The school suggests students submit in the summer months, or shortly after the AMCAS application window opens in the spring, since it begins reviewing applications in July.
Tuition and Debt
In-State and Out-of-State Tuition: $59,095
Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses (in-state and out-of-state): $16,850
Average Debt of Graduating Students: $200,354
The OUWB makes available several different funding opportunities for its incoming and current students. But all students should fill out a free FAFSA application and also include their parent’s financial information (only if students are under the age of 30). The school screens all incoming students for eligibility for several institutional medical school scholarships. The Scholarship Selection Committee continues reviewing applications until classes begin in August.
Residency Match Rates
The school had a perfect match rate (100%) for the most recent class, which is in keeping with its perpetually high rates of the past, making it one of the medical schools with the best match rates. Almost half (45%) choose to remain in Michigan to complete their residency with 20% of graduates choosing to remain within the Beaumont Health System. Another near-half of graduates (42%) opted to enter primary care specialties as their residency of choice. An internal medicine residency was the top choice for many graduates, with a family medicine residency following close behind.
Review of Available Programs
1. Four-Year MD Program
The four-year MD program at OUWB does not break any new ground in the way students are taught, but it does add a few elements (such as three longitudinal courses, with one being a research Capstone project) that are aimed at developing the compassion and care in its students that the school desires. The curriculum follows a systems-based approach and introduces students to the organs and systems of the body in the first two years, preparing them to apply their training in the final two clerkship years.
The longitudinal curriculum consists of several distinct threads:
- Embark (mentored training to develop research and scholarship skills)
- PRISM (Promoting Reflection and Individual growth through Support and Mentoring)
- Art and Practice of Medicine
- Medical Humanities and Bioethics
- Promotion and Maintenance of Health
The Embark and PRISM threads are the only ones that last for the entirety of the four years, while the rest are only taken in the first two or three years. PRISM is intended to give students an education on how to manage professional life as a doctor by pairing them with a faculty mentor. Students meet with their mentor once a month and participate in various self-reflection activities such as writing essays about their medical school journey or creating a wellness plan to avoid burnout both as a student and future doctors.
The sessions also act as professional development workshops where mentors show students how to prepare for clinical rotations. The EMBARK thread is a specialized training module for students to master research design and implementation. They study with faculty members and must conceive and carry out a research project by the end of their four-years to present to faculty members.
Upon reaching their clerkships years, students must complete a required number of rotations in various hospital departments. The breakdown is as follows:
- 8 weeks – internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery
- 6 weeks – family medicine
- 5 weeks – psychiatry, OB/GYN
Students can also opt to take several medical school electives that range from a OUWB Study Trip to Auschwitz, which can be taken as credit counted toward the requirements of the Medical Humanities and Clinical Bioethics thread. There are other Global Education Opportunities that fourth-year students can participate in to complete their elective requirements by participating in an exchange with two hospitals in Israel to prepare for their residency match and learn how to choose a medical specialty.
Campus and Faculty
The main OUWB campus sits on almost 1500 acres and is surrounded by forest and other wooded areas but is only a half hour drive from Detroit. The school is located in Oakland County, which spans two cities, Auburn Hills and Rochester. Facilities and buildings associated with Oakland University and the medical school are located in both cities with easy access via car or public transportation.
Four buildings of interest to medical students on the OUWB campus include the:
- Kresge Library
- Hannah Hall of Science Anatomy Lab
- Oakland Center
- Recreation Center
The offices of the medical school are located in O’Dowd Hall, which is also the home of the Office of Student Services. As the school is in a suburban area, there are many on-campus opportunities for medical school housing, such as the Van Wagoner, Anibal and Hill Houses.
Affiliated Teaching Hospitals
- William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak
- William Beaumont Hospital, Troy
- William Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe
- Medical education
- Medical humanities
- Population health
- Community health
- Health equity
- Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Eye Research Center
Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, MBBCH (MD), MSc, PhD
- Professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies
- Professor in Eye Research Institute and V. Everett Kinsey Endowed Professor
Berkley J. Browne, PhD
- Assistant Professor
- Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Douglas Gould, PhD, FAAA
- Professor (Neuroscience, Anatomy)
- Chair of the Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Ramin Homayouni, PhD
- Founding Director of Population Health Informatics
Ann Voorheis-Sargent, PhD, LPC
- Assistant Professor
- Director, Center for Excellence in Medical Education (CEME)
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
216 O'Dowd Hall
2200 N Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4402 USA
1. What is the mission of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine?
The primary mission of the OUWB is to create compassionate doctors. It follows through on that commitment by giving students several innovative opportunities to develop that compassion, whether through volunteering with a community partner or through the curriculum’s focus on the intersection of the humanities and medicine.
2. Do I need to take the MCAT and submit my scores?
Yes, all applicants must submit their most recent MCAT (but students can also submit older results that are no older than four years) and meet the school’s minimum MCAT of 495 to be considered. The minimum MCAT is a bid to encourage non-traditional medical school applicants to apply, since they would not be considered by other medical schools if they had an MCAT lower than 500.
3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?
The school’s official minimum GPA for undergraduate students is 3.0. Candidates who have taken a post-bac course before applying must have a GPA of 3.5 to be considered.
4. What kind of degree do I need to get into the OUWB?
The school suggests that you complete a full bachelor’s degree, but you can also complete the prerequisites (24 full credits) at an accredited US or Canadian university in upper-level courses to qualify.
5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?
The school requires students to complete at least 24 full credits in the following courses, biology, statistics, chemistry and biochemistry, physics. Students are also recommended to take courses in humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and English.
6. How can I apply to OUWB?
The school participates in the AMCAS application service, so all primary applications are submitted online. Only applicants who meet the school’s requirements are sent a secondary application.
7. How much does one year at OUWB cost?
The OUWB is a privately funded school so it charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students, so a full year of medical school costs $85,867.
8. Is it hard to get into OUWB?
The OUWB is one of the easiest medical schools to get into since it gives applicants a way how to how to get into med school with a low MCAT. Applicants with a score lower than 500 would normally be denied by other medical schools, and the minimum MCAT at OUWB is intended to encourage those students to apply to medical school anyway. As the school has more open admission policies, it does encourage students interested in service and other community-building initiatives to apply.
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Your friends at BeMo
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Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.
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