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Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by WarriorsFan, May 28, 2008.
Did the supply of MSTP wannabes suddenly stop???
Totally. I think a lot of last year's applicants are sticking with the pre-allopathic forum.
More space for us I guess
yeah im sort of guilty of SDN withdrawal.
just taking a little break, ill be back when i feel useful
good luck, 09er's!
I didn't know this part of the forum existed until just a few days ago. Its so far down the list. As mentioned above, I was hanging out in the pre-allo places until I looked a little further.
I'm just curious of what you think of my chances for MD/PhD in the schools I listed in my MDApps. My GPA and MCAT are rock solid but because I'm graduating from college a year early, I only have a year and a half of research under my belt (well... plus another 2 years of cancer research I did at another institution when I was in high school but that doesnt' count because it wasn't college... and the PI passed away so no recs from there either). I have no publications yet but will be a coauthor for two abstracts being submitted to the AHA and will also be first author for a review article I have spent a year writing and will be submitting soon.
I talked to the MD/PhD director at my local school and he says that he'd at least interview me if I applied but the only reason I won't get into the top programs is because I don't have enough research experience. I'm a little concerned because he put emphasis on the "won't" part of that sentence (and I don't know if he is referring to his own program) but at this point, theres not much I can do but take a dive in the deep end of the pool and hope I don't drown.
To end on a non-negative note! Everybody on this forum is awesome... kind of like the day that your experiment finally works after trying it a bazillion times.
1) How many years have you been doing research (deliniate between full time and part time). Do you have anything to show for it (abstracts/posters/papers)? Not that they're necessary but can help.
2) Are you applying for BioE?
3) Where are you? You can PM me that if you'd prefer.
Just wanted to wish best of to all of you applying for the class of, um, 2016ish? Yikes, I'll be about fit to retire by 2016.
At this rate I think I'll be graduating in 2016 too...
Ruh roh. More manuscript submission problems?
Not to take this thread too far off tangent, but it really *is* amazing how fast the time goes by. I feel like I just submitted my AMCAS a little while ago, but it's been three years already. The sickening thing to me is that pretty soon I'm going to have to do this whole pony and circus act again for residency.
Warrior, since I went and kind of derailed your thread, I'll go ahead and sticky it for you so that your fellow applicants can find it.
w00t, we 09ers got stickied! This is a good sign
As usual I got more problems than I know what to do with. In this case, my committee is not happy and it's entirely possible I'm going to get held up a year, which I very much don't want. Everyone was on board with me graduating, on the condition I got more papers published. In particular, this one paper has been rejected twice and must be accepted before I can go. WTF can I do about it? I've done the best job with it I can. Now it's just minor modifications to figures and such but I don't know what else I can do. More experiments are not going to help. If nobody likes the project, I don't know what I'm supposed to do about it... Start over?
But we're cluttering the 09ers thread. This is like telling the cows about their slaughter before they get to the slaughterhouse. Just do me a favor and notice when you interview how many senior students you actually meet...
Ok based on your PM and your MDApplicants profile, I don't know what crack your MD/PhD director is smoking. If you don't get into a top-10 program, I'll be seriously shocked. If you won't get into the top programs, who the heck will?! Enjoy the interview season. I predict many acceptances.
Edit: If I'm reading this correctly you will have 3 years of experience by the time you start a program. How much more research can someone have out of undergrad?! Should you have your PhD before starting?!
Thanks man! You brought me up after that guy took me down. Well... when I graduate, I will only have 2. I'm trying to graduate from college a year early so I won't be old when its all done. jkjk Before med school, i'm also going to pick up some important life skills like photography and scuba. Hopefully theres more time to relax during the PhD years too... if i don't dive the barrier reef before i'm 25, i'm going to be pissed.
Neuronix, how do you like Penn?
No problem. So you may not get into Hopkins or Harvard or UCSF or something. Boo freaking hoo.
I had 1 full-time year (applied during year off) and 1.5 part-time years when I started my program. Sure, it was probably the weak point on my app but you can see I wasn't really hurt by it.
I like to dive but I can't afford the barrier reef or Australia. If you want to go to latin america for diving let me know and I can give you the info. I've always wanted to go to Thailand also.
It has its ups and downs like anywhere else. Overall I've liked it here. I generally only like to discuss this in detail with the people who have been accepted as these types of discussions can get lengthy and in the end it may not matter. Still if you're interested in Penn I recommend you apply.
I'm curious why you don't plan to apply to any of the UCs.
The UC schools (and U of Washington) are amazing but they have a reputation of being impossible to get into for OOS. I'm VA in-state. Is this different for MD/PhD applicants?
State residency does not matter for MD/PhD.
i'll be applying this summer
btw, whats the etiquette for posting a "what are my chances" thread in here - should I just post that in the pre-allo area?
I know they put the WAMC subforum to pre-allo. Pre-allo is much busier than here. Go ahead and start a new thread in the main combined degree area if you'd like to ask about MD/PhD chances.
I've been posting here for quite a long time, and I'm applying this cycle. I'm not betting on an acceptance, cause i'm international and I don't come from a very well known school. My other worry is that I'll be applying a bit late (doing MCATs in middle of July so probably will get secondaries at the end of August). Hopefully that won't damage me much so I'd like to hear opinions on that. Anyways, good luck everyone.
Nobody gets secondaries until August and September anyway. You won't be late. "Late" used to mean those people who took the August MCAT and got their scores back in October. This is no longer the case, obviously. Return the secondaries quickly and you will be on time with everyone else if not early.
Just FYI, there is a list of secondary questions in the Pre-Allo (PA) forum for most if not all medical schools in this country. You could go ahead and start writing your essays for all the non-screening schools where you've applied in July/Aug, and be totally complete at those schools the second your MCAT scores come in mid-August.
For previous MD/PhD applicants, did you have a lot of additional essays to write above and beyond the ones on the regular MD app? It might be a good idea to start a separate thread with the prompts of questions that are only asked of MD/PhD applicants in this forum (like the thread in PA). This is assuming you get asked anything additional beyond, "Tell me about your research experience," which is already on a lot of MD program apps anyway.
Some schools have an entirely different secondary for their MD/PhD program. But mostly the additional questions will be on research experience, and why dual degree. Since the majority of schools asked those questions on their secondaries, and some specifically said "don't cut and paste your essays from your primary here", I really wanted to know why they were put on the primary in the first place...
Thanks Neuronix and Q.
Exactly. I know U of Minn cancelled the secondary application process, which is definitely welcome.
I noticed you were all kind enough to respond to an above poster and his chances of getting an MD/PhD; I was wondering if you'd be willing to to do the same for me. My MDapplicants profile number is 10571.
Are you for real? What could possibly make you think that profile is not competitive?
That VR is a little low, don't you think?
I'm kidding, ToStrikeInfinit--if you're not a troll, you know darn well that you have a stellar app.
Haha, thanks. I was a little worried that I didn't have a diverse enough EC profile (I always see people saving children in ghana or whatever), but I'm pretty happy with it in general
New 09-er here. I'm currently in the application process, and I was hoping all you knowledgeable folks could help me out with my "am I actually competitive enough to be doing this" anxiety pangs.
My main concern (at the moment) is my MCAT scores. I took the exam in late May, and I have a feeling it didn't go so well. I was wondering how low of a score would make it necessary for me to re-take it in August, and how much taking the exam this late would hurt my application. I scored in the 32-33 range on the AMCAS practice exams, but I wouldn't be surprised if my real score is a touch lower.
As for other credentials, I have a 3.86 GPA, some clinical experience (homeless shelter clinic volunteer - once a week for 1.5 years) and over two years experience (about half of that part-time) working in a neuroscience lab. Unfortunately, I won't be getting my name on a paper anytime this year, though I have presented at several poster sessions, including a national conference. My work in this lab is also the basis of my BA/MS project (my school has this combined program which lets you work full-time in the lab for a year on a thesis project which you defend at the end - kind of like a baby-PhD). I feel like I know my research well, but I'm worried about being asked why I have no publications after working for such a long time in the same lab.
Any advice would be appreciated! Also, sorry if I posted this in the wrong thread..
It doesn't matter if you don't have publications. Otherwise you sound fine. Nobody can comment on your MCAT scores until you have the real ones. Do your best!
anemone2: I'm curious.. why DON'T you have any publications after working such a long time in the same lab?
I can't really comment on your MCAT score. I continue to be fascinated by the increasing escalation of MCAT scores. I don't know if it is because of the current economic environment... as people are more reluctant to enter into the job market, and are thus more are seeking grad school as an alternative -- with more applicants, the high-end scores just keep getting higher.
When I first took the MCAT, I got a 32, and that was considered pretty darn good. From what I read on here, it seems like even 34 and 35s are considered pretty blasse these days.
So to try to offer some words of advice, I remember the anticipation I had waiting for my own scores to return. I wouldn't rush to judgement on your performance though until you actually receive them back. And IF you should find yourself on the cusp, I'd say retaking it is in your best interest. Last I knew, people tend to score 1-2 points higher on the retake, simply out of having the experience of taking it once before and knowing what to expect.
Nothing has changed. The average accepted score for the top-20 MSTPs (half of the MSTPs) is roughly a 36 (based on limited data), and has been ever since I first started looking into it. This isn't that much different than for the top-20 medical schools for private schools and out of staters. For example, our average accepted score for MD students is a little above a 34. The MCAT is a scaled test so the same number of people each year score roughly the same scores. The only possibility is that more people with high scores are choosing MSTP over MD. I have no idea if this is true.'
Sure, the national accepted average for MD students is about 30 (29.5 IIRC). Research powerhouse schools are always more competitive because research is what makes a medical school a "top" medical school and it's also what makes it an MSTP. Throw in free tuition/stipend and it gets more a bit more competitive.
MCAT scores on SDN definitely appear larger than they actually are.
32 *is* a very good score. It's easy to see why someone reading SDN would get the impression that every applicant must have a 35+ score, but in reality, those scorers are the top 5% of test-takers. The average score for all test-takers is still a 24-25, because that's how the AAMC scales it. Basically, there is a huge selection bias at work here; very few people who scored a 21 on the MCAT are going to come on SDN and post about it all over the boards, but plenty of people with a 41 would. So you don't get a representative sample. It looks like we have way more people with 41s than 21s, when statistically, *many* more people scored a 21 than a 41.
The USMLE forums are the same way. Anyone reading those forums would reasonably conclude that the average score is like a 250 on Step 1, when it's actually more like a 220.
Good question I think the main reason I've got nothing at the moment is that I'm working in a very young lab that only opened up 3 years ago. When I PubMed my PI, there are tons of papers from his grad and post doc work, but nothing from his own lab yet. Something I should have considered before joining. Not that it helps me any, but the lab is actually doing great - got two major grants recently, and basically doubled in size over the past year.
Also, when I joined I began working on a pretty long-term project (it's a massive genomics screen for genes involved in hypothalamus development) - which I'm sure is gonna be a Cell/Nature paper (one of those with like 10 authors)...when it's finished. My master's project has potential for a nice stand-alone paper, but I won't even be done doing experiments until fall/winter.
I guess I didn't join a great lab for building up my CV. But in other respects the lab is fantastic. Because it was so small I work directly under my PI, and he knows me really well (great LOR hopefully). I don't know if that balances out the lack of publications though. Is this something I should address in my app?
Thanks for everyone's comments btw. Just to double check though - an August MCAT is ok?
Should be fine. Have the rest of your app completed when the scores come back and get your secondaries in promptly. If you get your scores back in September you won't really be late, as many secondaries don't come till September anyways.
I've been in my lab for 4 years now...still no publications
If you're working part time for 2 years then it's no big deal that you don't have a publication. Especially if it was your own project (not helping a grad student or a post doc).
This is pretty unacceptable in my book.
If I remember correctly, you've been admitted in the fall?
But if you are working for 4 years in the same lab and don't have a publication, either your lab sucks, you suck, or you've been seriously taken advantage of.
Ehh, I know lots of people who interviewed with me who have no publications despite working for 4 years. While I may not have any pubs out right now, I'm waiting for two manuscripts to be submitted, a 5th author planned for Nature and 1st author for JBC. Crossing my fingers they go through!
I don't think that *ahem* my lab sucks, I suck, nor that I've been taken advantage of.........
I think the fact that there is only one paper published on the protein that I work on, that I've done MULTIPLE fruitless genetic screens, and that we went after the wrong target might have something more to do with it (not my fault, nor the PIs...sometimes [read: often] science doesn't pan out). My stuff will get published eventually, but most certainly after I'm gone.
I also met plenty of very successful applicants who had been in a lab for a long time without publications. It's not unheard of, and it does not mean that the person is a failure at life.
Uh, I've been working for 4 years too, but it's been summer full time, school year 10-15 hours a week, so it's slow going.
I've also been the ONLY person working on my project, and I've had a lot of data generated, the only reason we haven't published yet is my PI wants to get the whole pathway figure out... which we hope to do soon but still...
Hopefully no adcom's feel like gwd does...
Seraph who's lab do you work in?
Dr. David Wenkert's lab at Michigan State University. And I'm the only person in the lab...I get pretty lonely...
Does your PI lack funding? Or dislike grad students?
My PI isn't well known to undergrads, since he only teaches graduate level courses, so we don't get many undergrads to help out. As for graduate students, we don't have sufficient funds to fully support the research assistant stipend of one.
I've been working and getting paid off of a teaching assistant paycheck from the department, and now off of the grant of one of our collaborators.
As for funding, I dunno...he just told me to go all out and buy anything, and everything I need to start doing westerns...which is pretty expensive, I found out...
Oh, I saw the Wash U Shield and thought you were here. I guess you're an entering MSTP? Congrats if so. Don't know if I want to stay at Wash U for MSTP since I did undergrad here, but it's an excellent program nonetheless.
I'm an undergrad at the UofRochester, and I'm going to be applying to MD/PhD programs this summer. I'm wondering: what is the medapps profile that everyone seems to have? Is that something that I should have?
Hopefully I'm not missing something important...
Just copying and pasting my previous reply...
Hi there!! Welcome to the forums!!
And I think you should post in the '09 crowd instead This was last application year's thread
Anywhoo, enjoy hanging around here, ask lots of questions, and enjoy the application cycle (as much as one can humanely do)!
Also, MDApps is an online portfolio thing where you can list what schools you have applied to, interviewed at, waitlisted at, accepted at, etc etc etc... You can also put down your GPA, extracurriculars, and anything about your application cycle you want other people to know. It's not necessary to have one, but I dunno, most people have one. You definitely are not losing out if you don't create one.
Hi. I'm applying this year too.
I am also in this year's applicant pool..
good luck to everyone...I am extremely envious of anyone who has a high MCAT score, i definitely have an uphill battle due to my score....
where's everyone applying?
So uhm, MCAT scores came in today and I got a 35...M. I have NO IDEA what happened on that essay section (I don't generally write well under pressure, but an M!?). Anyway, would anyone care to comment on how serious of a problem this is, and what I can do to correct it. Much obliged..