dbluestud05

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I am interested in Baylor in Houston, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about the following issues for Baylor:
1) It seems like the Baylor students take forever to graduate (9-10+ years except for the Rice program); has anyone else heard of this? It isn't clear if there is a cap on total time of training.
2) I heard rumors that the current program director is leaving (Lupski?) and no replacement has been made yet.
3) If Baylor is no longer affiliated with Methodist, then are there additional training hospitals that they are going to add to replace Methodist?

From the match results, it looks like the Baylor students do well, but in light of all these changes I wonder how future classes will be affected.
 

Habari

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3) If Baylor is no longer affiliated with Methodist, then are there additional training hospitals that they are going to add to replace Methodist?
Inexplicably, methodist (in houston, texas) is now affiliated with cornell med. While interesting, I don't think they've built the H,T train to facilitate that commute.
 

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Habari said:
Inexplicably, methodist (in houston, texas) is now affiliated with cornell med. While interesting, I don't think they've built the H,T train to facilitate that commute.

I think Ben Taub has Baylor affiliation; there are plenty of texas cowpokes that can answer this question more thoroughly than I. Still, wanted to add my dos centavos.

...yes, Cornell and Methodist. Crazy. I mean whats next, Cornell trying to put a med school in the Middle East?
 
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lundysd

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Baylor and Methodist still have a loose connection, but the primary facilities are now Ben Taub, the VA, and St. Luke's/Texas Heart Institute. I don't see this as changing the MD/Phd program much (if at all), and from the 5-10 faculty I've discussed it with, they all seem to agree.

As far as graduation time, I've been told 8 years, but this may be off slightly.
 

dbluestud05

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lundysd said:
Baylor and Methodist still have a loose connection, but the primary facilities are now Ben Taub, the VA, and St. Luke's/Texas Heart Institute. I don't see this as changing the MD/Phd program much (if at all), and from the 5-10 faculty I've discussed it with, they all seem to agree.

As far as graduation time, I've been told 8 years, but this may be off slightly.
Some faculty at other institutions mentioned that many Baylor staff had left for Methodist including the chairpersons of Pathology and Neurology. However, they felt the majority of the basic scientists were planning to stay (two Howard Hughes Investigators left 2-3 years ago). I don't know if this means there are more people leaving (including the program director). When I interviewed at Baylor, people felt the faculty leaving had nothing to do with Methodist stuff.

The average is 8 years if you count the Rice engineering MSTP students who seem to graduate in 6/7 years vs the traditional Baylor MSTP students which take 9+ (to get the average of ~8) according to one of their MSTP students. I am not an engineer so I guess I am looking at 9+ years vs. 7 at programs like Northwestern.

I didn't really get a straight answer about working at MD Anderson or Cornell (via the Methodist-Baylor link). If I get an invite for 2nd interviews I hope they can clear my concerns up for me.
 

neoserenity333

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(1) i PMed a current student, and he said that students were taking longer, but they are getting a new director (also answering your second question) who will hopefully help speed things along. I must say, though, that with every "how long it takes" question, you have to consider the small sample size and the fact that very much of PhD depends on your personal motivation, circumstances, PI, and luck.
(2) see above (they are currently finding a replacement, i believe)
(3) there's weird ties...i'm sure it'll change back


dbluestud05 said:
I am interested in Baylor in Houston, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about the following issues for Baylor:
1) It seems like the Baylor students take forever to graduate (9-10+ years except for the Rice program); has anyone else heard of this? It isn't clear if there is a cap on total time of training.
2) I heard rumors that the current program director is leaving (Lupski?) and no replacement has been made yet.
3) If Baylor is no longer affiliated with Methodist, then are there additional training hospitals that they are going to add to replace Methodist?

From the match results, it looks like the Baylor students do well, but in light of all these changes I wonder how future classes will be affected.
 

imsotired

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dbluestud05 said:
I didn't really get a straight answer about working at MD Anderson or Cornell (via the Methodist-Baylor link). If I get an invite for 2nd interviews I hope they can clear my concerns up for me.
MD Anderson is part of the University of Texas system so I doubt that you can do your thesis work with a PI from there unless there is a collaboration with a faculty member from Baylor. However, there are MANY collaborations among the different institutions in the Texas Medical Center and other universities. The only formal link I know of with MD Anderson and Baylor is the W.M. Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology. There may be more. If you have your heart set on MD Anderson, you're best bet would be to apply to the UT-Houston program.
 

neoserenity333

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imsotired said:
MD Anderson is part of the University of Texas system so I doubt that you can do your thesis work with a PI from there unless there is a collaboration with a faculty member from Baylor. However, there are MANY collaborations among the different institutions in the Texas Medical Center and other universities. The only formal link I know of with MD Anderson and Baylor is the W.M. Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology. There may be more. If you have your heart set on MD Anderson, you're best bet would be to apply to the UT-Houston program.
i agree with imsotired; i interviewed at both places (baylor & ut houston) and i'm pretty familiar w/ the tmc. MD Anderson is definitely part of the UT Houston MD/PhD program, whereas Baylor is a research power in its own right (great genetics & neuro) with Ben Taub as a great teaching hospital (level 1 trauma center & understaffed so you know that that means--more hands on for meddies!).

i'll also chime in about the head director: didn't see him at my interview, but, during the reception, i had a great talk with one of the co-director, who seemed very involved with the students and even had one of the MSTP trainees I met doing his thesis in his lab.

also, i hear rumors of methodist and baylor making up, but don't quote me on that :p you know how volatile institutional marriages are these days...
 

dbluestud05

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neoserenity333 said:
MD Anderson is definitely part of the UT Houston MD/PhD program, whereas Baylor is a research power in its own right (great genetics & neuro) with Ben Taub as a great teaching hospital (level 1 trauma center & understaffed so you know that that means--more hands on for meddies!).

i'll also chime in about the head director: didn't see him at my interview, but, during the reception, i had a great talk with one of the co-director, who seemed very involved with the students and even had one of the MSTP trainees I met doing his thesis in his lab.

also, i hear rumors of methodist and baylor making up, but don't quote me on that :p you know how volatile institutional marriages are these days...
It seems ironic to have two great schools within walking distance of each other, but not be able to have some reciprocal rotations/training. Both UT-H and Baylor have county hospitals where it looks like you do a lot of training (and work). I like Baylor's 1.5 years of basic sciences, but I was less excited about taking a full complement of Ph.D. classes. The cost of living is very good in Houston and the stipend seems generous (although you still have to pay some fees).

I didn't hear of Baylor-Methodist making up (in fact I heard that Methodist was trying to lure away Baylor faculty by promising large sums of money, but that stopped after Baylor tried to sue Methodist in court!) Methodist seemed like a great hospital (had all those US News & World Report banners all over the place) and clientele looked pretty fancy-schmancy (can you tell I got lost on interviews?).

Good luck to everyone and thanks for the input (making this decision seems like a daunting task because you are choosing two schools at once).
 

neoserenity333

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dbluestud05 & other SDNers, let me know if you're going to revisit/candidate review for either/both of those schools. hopefully, i'll see you guys there :luck:
 

imsotired

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neoserenity333 said:
dbluestud05 & other SDNers, let me know if you're going to revisit/candidate review for either/both of those schools. hopefully, i'll see you guys there :luck:
Hey neoserenity, have you already heard back from both schools post-interview?
 

potato51

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Asked a BCM student today, who told me it all depends on your mentor and how hard you want to work (duh, of course). The average student takes around 9 years, and there have been cases of folks taking up to 12.
 

dbluestud05

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potato51 said:
Asked a BCM student today, who told me it all depends on your mentor and how hard you want to work (duh, of course). The average student takes around 9 years, and there have been cases of folks taking up to 12.
That is exactly what I heard (maybe we talked to the same student that was at my interview). I was told that 1 person recently took 11/12 years, 2 took 10 years and more are in the process of 9+. I am sure every MSTP has one or two students that take long, but when you have multiple cases I start to worry. Baylor students take pretty much a full graduate school curriculum and don't start lab rotations until they enter graduate school. It is hard to tell from the website how long they have gone whereas other programs list students by year like Stanford http://mstp.stanford.edu/students.html
or Tri-I
http://www.med.cornell.edu/mdphd/student.html#
Maybe at the end of it all, residencies don't care if it took you 6/7 years or 11/12 years.
 

sab73sab

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dbluestud05 said:
That is exactly what I heard (maybe we talked to the same student that was at my interview). I was told that 1 person recently took 11/12 years, 2 took 10 years and more are in the process of 9+. I am sure every MSTP has one or two students that take long, but when you have multiple cases I start to worry. Baylor students take pretty much a full graduate school curriculum and don't start lab rotations until they enter graduate school. It is hard to tell from the website how long they have gone whereas other programs list students by year like Stanford http://mstp.stanford.edu/students.html
or Tri-I
http://www.med.cornell.edu/mdphd/student.html#
Maybe at the end of it all, residencies don't care if it took you 6/7 years or 11/12 years.
Some insight from the inside: Lupski is leaving for Cambridge (UK) and the program is looking for a new official director. However the program has 3 co-assistant directors the will take over his job for the meanwhile. Baylor still has 4 HHMI faculty and many other excellent faculty that are absolutely staying put. The two big PI's that left were essentially bought off a few years back, but this happens in academia all the time. The faculty at Baylor are superb (eg #1 genetics department in US NEWS) and will remain so for a long time.
The methodist split/fight has softened a bit, they have agreed to share a number of departments, and Baylor has declined to merge with St. Lukes, thus Baylor and Methodist may yet make amends.
As for graduation times, I know of one person in particular (I did my first rotation in the lab he's currently working in, this summer) who has been taking a while. It appears like he had a dead-end project in one particular lab and had to switch labs mid-project. I am positive that there are excellent labs however (run by MdPhd PI's) that try to fast track students through if desired, so you will always have options. Either way THERE IS DEFINITELY NOT A PROBLEM with getting Baylor MSTP's out in less than 8 years. Houston is cheap and the stipend is more than sufficient to live well. All in all a great place to study.
 
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