cmsmstp

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I am contemplating going into the PhD years after completing MS1 then going back to MS2,3,4. I have heard that some WashU students have done this and I am wondering if anybody had any thoughts on this path.
 

cache20033

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i know of several people doing this....a good friend of mine took a research elective during the spring of his first year and found work in a neuro lab during the summer to work for -just for extra money....ended up working ridiculous hours (like 90 plus/ consider there is only 168 hours during the week)....found out how much he loved it and easily got mstp funding from the school (realize though that it's easily possible considering washu has the largest mstp class in the nation - they have funding coming out of the wazoo).....so now, he's part of the program and is having his next 6-7 years of tuition paid for along with a handsome stipend that goes pretty far in a small midwest city - at least to compared to NY and LA
 

coldchemist

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I have thoughts. There are advantages, and there are disadvantages. Ultimately I think it should depend on your educational priorities and the way in which you learn. Think real hard about how such a path will affect your performance on Step 1. Could be bad...but could be good, too.
 
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cache20033

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ooops...i may have misunderstood your question....are you already saying that you are in the MD/PHD program...or trying to get into one after you've been an MD student............anyways, that's my explanation of a backdoor way of going into an MD/PHD program from that school...
 

cmsmstp

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I'm already in an MD/PhD program and I'm thinking of modifying the traditional path. I'm not really concerned with how it will affect step 1 scores, first year med school is kind of a joke anyway. I've had almost all of these classes before entering med school and I don't feel like I've learned anything new except anatomy.
 

Alexs42

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Hi all,
My first post on these forums. Anyway, I've done exactly what you're proposing. Quite a few people do it at the Vanderbilt MSTP (almost 30-40%) in the last year or two. I personally feel that it is an excellent path choice, because you get to go thru the clinically relevant part of your pre-clinical training (Path, Pharm, Pathphys/LabDx, PhysDx) right before you actually get into third year. And I feel this is quite important, because after 3-4 years of science your path and pharm is very rusty.

Furthermore, it takes (from my experience) about 6-9months to retrain yourself to think like a medical student again (regurgitate facts, generate differential Dx) compared to my preferred scientist thinking method (analyze, criticize, re-evaluate). One does not want to look like an idiot during his important 3rd yr rotations.

Boards-wise, it may be a little more difficult, but only a little, because it does not take too much time to brush up on first-year stuff, which is not that board-relevant anyway. Significantly more weight is placed on 2nd yr material. Also, after years of reading and keeping average residents hours in the lab (60-100), getting into 2nd yr instead of a third will seem like a nice break with free time and everything, to leisurely reenter the MD field. All that class and Boards stuff is much less stressful after you've gone through the stress of paper reviews/rewrites and thesis writing/defense.

Just my 2c.
Aleks Stanic, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt MSTP
 
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