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coldchemist

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What's the deal? Are you having trouble deciding if you want to do MD/PhD, or are you in the "accepted to the school of your choice, but for MD only" dilemma?
 

rayraad

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Basically it's the latter...I'm chosing between MD at Hopkins and MD/PhD at either Cornell/Rockefeller/MSKCC or Columbia
 
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coldchemist

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Well, I have yet to receive any acceptances, so I can't speak from experience. Wow, tough decision. I'd probably risk it, go to Hopkins and try for the MSTP after first year...but I've always been a risk taker.
 

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My advice, as someone who has a PhD and is in medical school, is to go to Hopkins and bag the combined degree. There will be ample opportunity to pick up research experience both in and beyond medical school. Besides, in practical terms, the most important skills for a researcher to develop are money acquisition and employee management, and I've seen few graduate programs that even scratch those topics.

Having known a few MD/PhD students in my day, also consider this: there is apparently nothing worse than watching the medical school classmates you started with graduate while you're still being licked by the flames of Research Hell. So what would you rather be doing in 2008?

Good luck, whatever you choose.
 

coldchemist

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As far as watching your fellow students move on to clinicals...

Yeah, I've heard that a lot from current MD/PhD students, but only students in small programs. I've met some MD/PhD groups that are so big and diverse, I wouldn't be surprised of the med school students are jealous of them!
 

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it depends on what you want to do. I'd easily go to columbia over hopkins for neurosciences. someone else may easily go to Cornell for cancer/HIV. Personally I think Rockefeller is noticably stronger than Hopkins as far as research goes. However, new york presby has noticably less resources EVEN combined compared to johns hopkins hospital.

on the other hand, for clinically oriented research such as cardiology/pulmonary medicine/surgery, i'd say you should go for the MD at Hopkins. Or, if you are rather unsure what you want to do with your life at this point, go to Hopkins MD.

My impression is that though it is possible to get into MDPHD after getting into MD, the actual situation isn't nearly as easy as people think it is. You may get into the program and not get any funding and so forth.
 

MacGyver

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Originally posted by sluox
Personally I think Rockefeller is noticably stronger than Hopkins as far as research goes.

You need to put more qualifiers in this statement, cause its not true across the board. Both places have different strengths/weaknesses.
 

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ray,

i'm pretty sure we met during the einstein interview in october, so if i remember your situation correctly... you're from the new york city area, so you only applied to md/phd programs close to home. everywhere else you applied md-only, right? not that it really matters but people might want to understand that when giving you advice.

as it stands, with your background in science and math at MIT, i would suggest the md/phd route... plus, then you could be close to your family and live in nyc instead of baltimore (eeks!). i'm not sure there would be noticeable difference in your clinical training at any of the schools and as an md/phd from either new york schools you would certainly be very competitive for the top residencies (even though you didn't go to hopkins).

that being said, i think it really comes down to whether you want to do a phd... because if you're at all unsure i would take the hopkins route.

just my thoughts. congrats and good luck!
aaron

ps- if this is not ray from the einstein interview... i don't know what to say. i'm a *****. please excuse me.
 

Habari

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i suggest this - goto the revisits and think about it some more. if going the hopkins md route sounds truly compelling to you - then you should take your time and definately think about your motivations [i don't mean this in a patronizing/holier-than-thou-for-choosing-mdphd way at all - just try to dissect out what's driving this dilemma]. if the presitge of the medical training is driving this dilemma above other issues - it's going to be hard to convince you otherwise, nor would i try.

if residency matching issues are of concern - for those in our program who participate in the match the rate is very close to if not 100% 1st choice match consistently.

Personally I think Rockefeller is noticably stronger than Hopkins as far as research goes.

in terms of average quality of faculty, i'm clearly biased but there seems to be a no contest in favor of rockefeller. if you're talking about stuff like bme, obviously hopkins has stronger faculty - whereas rockefeller has none. even the neuroscience program at rockefeller has been kicked up a notch with recent faculty additions like cori bargmann from ucsf. but it would also be silly to say that hopkins doesn't have a strong research program - their mdphds do incredibly well and they have numerous excellent faculty members.

Well, I have yet to receive any acceptances, so I can't speak from experience. Wow, tough decision. I'd probably risk it, go to Hopkins and try for the MSTP after first year...but I've always been a risk taker.

make sure you check out the in house stats about that - my understanding is that it is not trivial to secure funding for it.
 

rayraad

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Originally posted by hockebob
ray,

i'm pretty sure we met during the einstein interview in october, so if i remember your situation correctly... you're from the new york city area, so you only applied to md/phd programs close to home. everywhere else you applied md-only, right? not that it really matters but people might want to understand that when giving you advice.


Hey aaron,

Good memory man! Yes we did meet at Albert Einstein in October. Yes, I only applied MD/phD in New York because my family would not stand to have me far away for another 7-8 years...thanks for pointing that out. How have you been?


Everyone else, thanks for all the comments. They've been really helpful. I'm realizing it's really a matter of what's most important to me and what I want to do with my life.
 
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