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Another MSTP Question!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Patiently Waiting, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    I am way behind many of you in terms of catching up with even the concept of MSTP. Until yesterday I thought MSTP = MD/Ph.D.(****, and my interview is in less than a wk) But I read somewhere in the MSTP BLVD thread that the MSTP guarantees a full tuition waiver as well as giving an annual stipend, but not MD/Ph.D?? In other words, even if one gets accepted to the dual program, he/she has to work butt off to get funding for research and living cost. Through private scholarships and loans?

    How will "I" know if I will be guaranteed funding? Is it appropriate for me to ask the faculty during the interview about $$? The Last thing I should worry about is, I'm broke, no $$ for research, and forget obtaining a Ph.D at the end. How SHALL I tackle this issue? My upcoming interviewing school does use the term , MSTP, not just MD/Ph.D.

    Thanks a bunch. :)
     
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  3. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    Patiently Waiting,

    The MSTP programs are NIH (NIGMS) funded MD/PhD programs. There are about 36 of them in the country and they are considered the more "prestigious" MD/PhD programs. Several non-MSTP MD/PhD programs guarantee full funding and train outstanding physician scientists.

    Regarding the funding issue, you definitely should ask about it. The program director is responsible for the administration of the program; so this is the guy or gal that you should throw the technical (money, program-duration, curriculum-structure) type questions at. And DEFINITELY ask those questions. Especially the funding question. Your other interviewers might just be researchers who are totally clueless about how the program is run. With these guys and gals, I'll stick to the research interests, why MD/PhD, and other non-technical issues.
    Cheers and GL.
     
  4. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    Original,

    You totally helped me see the difference btw MSTP and non-MSTP MD/Ph.D programs. I will make sure I will ask the program director about all of the Qs you mentioned. Thank you very much. :D

    To Original & other MSTP candidates,

    Anything else from your interviews that you wished you knew in advance?
     
  5. Sonic Hedgehog

    Sonic Hedgehog MSTP guru

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    Patiently Waiting -

    Original is right. The MSTP is the name for the government funded MD/PhD programs. These exist at 39 schools across the country. If you want to see a list of these schools, go to:
    <a href="http://www.nigms.nih.gov/funding/mstp.html" target="_blank">http://www.nigms.nih.gov/funding/mstp.html</a>

    Other schools, such as UIUC for example, have MD/PhD programs that are not directly funded by the government/NIH. But even those programs have their own money to support the MD/PhD program. The truth is, that even the NIH doesn't FULLY fund the MD/PhD program. They give part of the money, and the school has to come up with the rest. Some schools supplement students with allowances, stipends from their own funds to make their MSTP's more attractive to students (ex. Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering, Wash.U etc, have very high stipends, much higher than the regular MSTP stipend). Other schools, just give what is recommended by the NIH and nothing more. (ex. Yale, for example). The real deal is that most schools use NIH money only during the MD training part, for which funding is generally not available from within the school. The individual schools themselves fund the PhD part.
    As far as I know, 38 of the 39 MSTP funded schools guarantee you funding/tuition/fees/stipend if you get accepted. That is, they will not accept you if they cannot fund you for the duration of your program. The only exception from the MSTP funded programs is Johns Hopkins. For some weird reason each year, several students choose to matriculate there despite the fact that the school will not give them any funding.
    Original is correct in that the best person to find out whether or not you have funding is the Program Director. In 99.99% of cases, MSTP-funded MD/PhD programs will not accept you unless they have money for you. So I don't think it's something you need to be concerned about THAT much, although finding out directly from the "horses mouth" might be a good idea. And a safe one.
     
  6. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Patiently Waiting:
    <strong> Anything else from your interviews that you wished you knew in advance?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Nothing really. A huge reason for the interview is to go out there and learn about the program and ask questions at the school. Speak with faculty, MSTP students, regular med students, and random people off the street (if you're not familiar with the town). There were tons of MSTP stuff I didn't know pre-interview and still don't know, but I had no regrets about that.

    Like Sarah said, listen when they talk about their research and ask "smart" follow up questions. Also, show enthusiasm about their research. Sometimes it might be some really boring crap that makes you want to scream and get the he11 out. Just 1)breath, 2)listen, 3)show enthusiasm, 4)and ask smart questions. At several schools you get to pick the interviewers that work on fun stuff, so at such schools, the above emergency protocol wouldn't be necessary.
     
  7. Sonic Hedgehog

    Sonic Hedgehog MSTP guru

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    ... as Original was saying.

    .... If all else fails, just say "So what got you interested in XXXX....? (XXX being their field of study, topic of discussion). Scientists LOVE to talk about themselves. Make use of it.
     
  8. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    Sonic Hedgehog,

    Thanks for your input. :D

    I wonder, if I will be facing a fiercer competition at UCI since it's one of the MSTP schools. (BTW, no wonder UCD said, it only guarantees only three students a full funding and the rest are on their own for $$) Some said, we have a higher chance to get accepted to the program once invited for an interview than those invited for the MD only program. BUT, this program takes only 8 students, and I have no idea how many applicants have been selected for an interview thus far. I can't find this info anywhere. The fact that mine's so late in the process...the outlook looks pretty dim. Does the waitlist move quickly? Varies from school to school, I suppose.
     
  9. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Original:
    <strong>Sometimes it might be some really boring crap that makes you want to scream and get the he11 out. Just 1)breath, 2)listen, 3)show enthusiasm, 4)and ask smart questions.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That's really funny. I will be like, "hmm, your research sounds very interesting, but say that again?" I surely hope they won't hook me up with folks outside my research interest. I'm all about drug interaction, drug designs, getting them thru. preclinical and clinical trials and finally putting them on the market.
     
  10. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member

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    I wouldn't worry about interviewing late at UCI. I just got the interview invite about two weeks ago (I'm not going to go to this one, I promised my wife that Northwestern would be the last). In any event, places generally interview 40-60 people for about 8-10 spots. So, it's a good sign that you've been selected.

    Good luck,

    Adam

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Patiently Waiting:
    <strong>Sonic Hedgehog,

    Thanks for your input. :D

    I wonder, if I will be facing a fiercer competition at UCI since it's one of the MSTP schools. (BTW, no wonder UCD said, it only guarantees only three students a full funding and the rest are on their own for $$) Some said, we have a higher chance to get accepted to the program once invited for an interview than those invited for the MD only program. BUT, this program takes only 8 students, and I have no idea how many applicants have been selected for an interview thus far. I can't find this info anywhere. The fact that mine's so late in the process...the outlook looks pretty dim. Does the waitlist move quickly? Varies from school to school, I suppose.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  11. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    Rumit,

    Thanx for the encouragement, but the fact that only about 25% of the total interviewees get accepted into the program is still depressing. How do they weed out the remaining 75%???
    Since I've made to the interviewing stage, I guess what's left are my interviewing skill and the degree of interest the faculty have toward my research.

    Congrats on surviving thru the horrendous medical application cycle. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  12. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Patiently Waiting:
    <strong>Rumit,

    Thanx for the encouragement, but the fact that only about 25% of the total interviewees get accepted into the program is still depressing. How do they weed out the remaining 75%???
    Since I've made to the interviewing stage, I guess what's left are my interviewing skill and the degree of interest the faculty have toward my research.

    Congrats on surviving thru the horrendous medical application cycle. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I might be wrong, but what I inferred from Adam's post is that the program size is 8-10. To get that # of students, they'll probably have to admit about 50 or more students. For example, WashU admits about 60 for a class with 20 students. I think Duke admits 30 for a class of 12. UCLA admitted 30 for a class of 15 and only 5 showed. It's a small group of "really outstanding" applicants. MD/PhD programs dont mess around; especially since they usually pay for the applicants to come out there. For muddphudd, getting an interview is huge.
     
  13. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    Original,

    The number of acceptance you mentioned sounds too good to be true. I mean, about 60-80 people get an interview for the program, so if 50-60 people do get an acceptance post-interview, then it implies about an 80-100% acceptance rate. No one really gets turned away after the interview?
     
  14. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Patiently Waiting:
    <strong>Original,

    The number of acceptance you mentioned sounds too good to be true. I mean, about 60-80 people get an interview for the program, so if 50-60 people do get an acceptance post-interview, then it implies about an 80-100% acceptance rate. No one really gets turned away after the interview?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You're right. That's too high. i just pulled the guesstimate outta my @ss :D . I would say at least 20 will be accepted. You're looking at 30% chance at least. But this again is a guess as I don't know what the actual numbers are for Ivrine. At WashU they told us that there is a 70% chance of acceptance once one lands an MSTP interview <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" /> . I was basing my guess off of this and other schools. In anycase, they must accept more than 10 students to fill 10 seats.
     
  15. Patiently Waiting

    Patiently Waiting Senior Member

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    Damn, I should have applied to the Wash U MST program. :mad: Not that I would have gotten an interview from the school... <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     

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