double_cut

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So I got into some good MSTP's, BUT the schools that are really good in what I want to do my future research in, have rejected me. HOWEVER I have gotten into these schools' PhD programs (Woohooo...or not). Is it possible to apply to an MSTP while you're a PhD student?
 

dr.z

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double_cut said:
So I got into some good MSTP's, BUT the schools that are really good in what I want to do my future research in, have rejected me. HOWEVER I have gotten into these schools' PhD programs (Woohooo...or not). Is it possible to apply to an MSTP while you're a PhD student?
Depends on the school, and I do believe it is difficult (still possible). If I was in your shoes, I would go with MSTP program. I am currently finishing my Ph.D, and I believe Ph.D is to get training for your research foundation. As long as your foundation is strong, you can get into different type of research. You can try to go to the school you want as a post-doc so you can do the research you want to do after you have a good foundation. Anyways that's just my opinion.
 

mjs

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If you are certain you want to be a doctor, go to medical school before you have better things to do (there are plenty of better things to do with a PhD). If you think you could have a nice life without an MD, you have some more thinking to do. I would not expect that stopping a PhD to start medical school is a great idea in anyone's eyes.
 

ears

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Most programs would not encourage this, from what I've heard. It's less rare to make the MD-to-MSTP jump; that depends somewhat on the program you'd be talking about.

As for your "schools that are really good in what I want to do my future research in"... One of the joys of (most) MSTP programs is that you don't have to choose an area. And in fact, I think most MSTP students should instead choose a <i>mentor</i> and his/her lab rather than a department. Find someone whose philosophy really agrees with yours, and who understands and supports your goals (whatever they are). That'll matter much more than what department they're in.

Besides, most MD/PhDs that I know take their independent research programs in a totally different direction than they were working on as graduate students, since most basic science labs are pretty separate from clinical departments, whereas many MD/PhDs end up in clinical departments, with their research aligned accordingly.

My advice (worth what you paid for it, of course): Find out if there are good people at the MSTPs you got into that you'd like to work with, regardless of their research area. If there are, and you're committed to the MD/PhD idea, then do that. If you're not totally committed to the MD/PhD, then for goodness' sake, <i>don't do it</i>! Go to one of the PhD programs and forget about the MD.
 
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double_cut

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thanks for the advice guys. i've decided not to do the mstp since i really don't know why i'm getting an MD. i guess if i want to get an md later on in my life, i can. i was able to get into this hot nih/oxford doctoral program so i think i want to do that. good luck to all you future mudphudders =)