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I made a similar post a month back in another section, as I did not know this section existed.

I’m a third year student at a university in Canada studying mathematics and physics. When I started my undergraduate program, I was interested in going to graduate school in mathematics. Throughout the years I developed an interest in medicine and have decided to pursue medical school, preferably a MD/PhD program. As you can see from my other post in the physician scientists section, I am still contemplating whether I want to enter a MD or a MD/PhD program. The issue is that I will be completing my undergraduate education in Canada, but wish to go to medical school in the US. Would this be a major barrier in being able to go to a medical school I like in the US? I’ve searched some posts on here about the same topic but they are usually from applicants in different circumstances.

For reference, this is how my application looks (with some parts adjusted to preserve anonymity):

cGPA and sGPA: 4.0
MCAT score: ~42 or 525

My awards include being recognized by some undergraduate mathematics and programming competitions. I am also an athlete and spend about 2 hours (on average) everyday practicing or playing a match.

I have taken graduate level courses in mathematics and physics (some in computer science as well) such as measure and integration, algebraic topology etc. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten a chance to do the same for biology or chemistry, and have only taken several second year and third year courses (more than what is required though).

I have very significant research experience, but once again that is more in mathematics. I have done biology-related research for several terms, and am planning to participate in some more research programs at my university this year. I have a fair amount of clinical and shadowing experience as well, which I will be continuing for the rest of my undergraduate years.

With that being said, would this be enough to have a good chance of getting admitted to a “good” medical school in the US? I am not completely determined to get in to a specific medicine program, but I would like to have some choice between some programs rather than be pigeonholed into one.
 
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nonamesleft

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If you can talk about how your math background will help you in the biology-related research, that may strengthen your application. Pure math may be harder than applied math to tie-in, but your description sounds more applied..?

For example - I'm in a Biochemistry and Molecular biology department, looking at structure-function relationships. We actually built a supercomputer in the lab for running algorithms. We also use PCA and SCA as techniques/analysis tools.

Good luck! let me know if you've got questions for me..
 
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Link2

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If you can talk about how your math background will help you in the biology-related research, that may strengthen your application. Pure math may be harder than applied math to tie-in, but your description sounds more applied..?

For example - I'm in a Biochemistry and Molecular biology department, looking at structure-function relationships. We actually built a supercomputer in the lab for running algorithms. We also use PCA and SCA as techniques/analysis tools.

Good luck! let me know if you've got questions for me..

Thanks. I am having some difficulty thinking about how I can combine my mathematical and medicinal interests, but I am trying to see what fields I am interested in which involve both subjects.
 

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So I've made a very late decision to apply this year, but based on what I've read, I shouldn't be disadvantaged in any way even if I apply now. However, I'm having a lot of difficulty figuring out which schools to apply to. I can think of several "reach" schools that accept at least a few internationals, but I can't really decide on which (and how many) target/safety schools to apply to. I would appreciate if someone can give a rough idea of which schools I should be looking at, or at least how I should pick the schools. I'm going through MSAR and there are many schools with a 90th percentile MCAT or GPA below mine, but how am I supposed to decide which ones out of those to apply to?

I'm mainly interested in MD/PhD schools, but I can do my MD first if needed (cost isn't an issue). I don't want to apply to any Canadian schools.
 

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I should also mention that my LORs will be very good (I know them personally and have been told that I'm one of the best students they've taught), but I'm not sure how impactful that would be.
 

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Fellow Canadian applying this year too, so good luck to you. Others may have more knowledge than me but from what I learned talking to a few med school friends and browsing here on SDN, it's not advised to take gap years after medical school but before residency, so doing PhD after MD may not be a great idea. People typically take research years during medical schools if they want to get research experience. I suggest you try to think of a coherent story for MD/PhD programs.
 
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Link2

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Fellow Canadian applying this year too, so good luck to you. Others may have more knowledge than me but from what I learned talking to a few med school friends and browsing here on SDN, it's not advised to take gap years after medical school but before residency, so doing PhD after MD may not be a great idea. People typically take research years during medical schools if they want to get research experience. I suggest you try to think of a coherent story for MD/PhD programs.

Thanks, good luck to you too. Maybe doing a PhD and then an MD is a better idea then, if I can't manage to get into a good MD/PhD program.
 

nonamesleft

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Fellow Canadian applying this year too, so good luck to you. Others may have more knowledge than me but from what I learned talking to a few med school friends and browsing here on SDN, it's not advised to take gap years after medical school but before residency, so doing PhD after MD may not be a great idea. People typically take research years during medical schools if they want to get research experience. I suggest you try to think of a coherent story for MD/PhD programs.

Thanks, good luck to you too. Maybe doing a PhD and then an MD is a better idea then, if I can't manage to get into a good MD/PhD program.

IMO, doing the MD first and then the PhD would be beneficial in setting up the research-oriented career. You would be doing research in your clinical field of interest and you wouldn't have the potential publication gap between PhD training and looking for a job. Both US and Canadian schools have special programs where the PhD is completed during residency. For example: http://cip.utoronto.ca/program/about-the-ci , and http://www.abim.org/certification/policies/research-pathway/policies-requirements.aspx
 
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