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Best MD/PHD applicant qualifications

BioChemAg2016

New Member
Feb 13, 2014
7
0
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Good afternoon all,

I just graduated at A&M with a BSc in Biochemistry, and I am now working at UTSW as a research assistant. I am clearly on this forum because I want to be an MD/PHD.
However, I am unsure as to what are some qualifications I would need to be a competent applicant. I intend in taking full advantage of my new position at UTSW, and applying to the MD/PHD program here.

This is where I am now in terms of qualifications:
  • Two years of undergraduate research (glycobiology and genetics on Drosophila)
  • Trilingual (not sure if that helps)
  • My degree in biochemistry at A&M has been "certified" by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • One year of research experience at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (microbiology on cotton)
    • Although I did not publish, I have a lot acknowledgements since I prepared a lot of figures that were used in published papers.
  • As of today, a research assistant at the Children's Research Institute at UTSW.
So there it is, not as plentiful as I'd like, and I am clearly not in any way prepared to apply.
I was thinking I could put out a list of things that I could do to put myself in a better position to apply. Anything you could or advice would be very helpful!

  • Publish my research findings
  • Shadow physicians
  • Volunteer work (what type???)
  • Certifications (what type???)
  • I've been thinking about tutoring young adults
Thank you everybody ahead of time for your help.
 
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markovchn123

Full Member
Dec 8, 2015
147
71
31
  1. Pre-Medical
GPA
MCAT
Research with evidence of driving a project and accompanied by strong LORs (publications are quite helpful, but are not necessary)

minimal shadowing
minimal clinical/volunteer work
This. Also your gpa and mcat are critical because they can help you get your foot in the door. Make sure you have like a 3.7 cumulative and a 514 or higher mcat to have a good chance
 

BioChemAg2016

New Member
Feb 13, 2014
7
0
1
  1. Pre-Medical
I would need more details. What is your cGPA and sGPA? Have you taken the MCAT or when do you plan to take it?

Sorry for the late reply--just finished my first week of work, and my schedule has been a bit hectic still.

My GPA is poor, below a 3.0. I've been thinking about completing an SMP, Master's Program, or some other type of post-bacc program since I am sure this will greatly affect my competency. What do you think about this? I have yet to take my MCAT too.
 

markovchn123

Full Member
Dec 8, 2015
147
71
31
  1. Pre-Medical
You should really consider doing an MD and PhD separately. A sub 3.0 GPA makes it difficult to even get into an MD school, let alone an MD/PhD. Maybe retake some courses in a post-bacc to fix your GPA and apply to MD and PhD programs separately and do one first and then the other.
 

Neuronix

Total nerd
Staff member
Administrator
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15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2002
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  1. Attending Physician
Oh my. Below a 3.0. How far below?

You are going to be a long shot for medical school to begin with. MD/PhD programs are even more competitive.

You need to focus on getting into medical school or graduate school. Even semi-competitive graduate programs are not going to be open to you at this point.

Your best option will be to re-take the courses with your worst grades. DO programs allow for grade replacement, which will give you your fastest path to medical school. MD programs do not.

You will need to sit down and do some calculations as to how many courses you need to retake and/or take now with straight As to get your GPA to at least 3.3, preferably 3.5+.

MCAT will also need to be strong of course. The better the MCAT is, the more it will help you, however even a very high MCAT score does not make up for a 3.0 GPA.
 
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BioChemAg2016

New Member
Feb 13, 2014
7
0
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Oh my. Below a 3.0. How far below?

You are going to be a long shot for medical school to begin with. MD/PhD programs are even more competitive.

You need to focus on getting into medical school or graduate school. Even semi-competitive graduate programs are not going to be open to you at this point.

Your best option will be to re-take the courses with your worst grades. DO programs allow for grade replacement, which will give you your fastest path to medical school. MD programs do not.

You will need to sit down and do some calculations as to how many courses you need to retake and/or take now with straight As to get your GPA to at least 3.3, preferably 3.5+.

MCAT will also need to be strong of course. The better the MCAT is, the more it will help you, however even a very high MCAT score does not make up for a 3.0 GPA.

I'm sitting at a 2.984. So from what I am understanding is that I need to retake some courses in a DO program? Not at the university level?
 

Neuronix

Total nerd
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15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2002
14,205
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  1. Attending Physician
To reiterate:

You are going to be a long shot for medical school to begin with. MD/PhD programs are even more competitive.

You need to focus on getting into medical school or graduate school. Even semi-competitive graduate programs are not going to be open to you at this point.

If you want a clinical component to your career, you need to go to medical school. You can do research as a DO or MD. You will need to open yourself to options for research during medical school, residency, fellowship, and beyond. You can also find opportunities to obtain a PhD during or after medical school.

There are combined DO/PhD programs. But, they are uncommon and I don't know how competitive they are. If you can make yourself competitive enough for DO with a high MCAT score, that might be an option for you.
 
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