shindotp

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Is this possible at most medical schools?

If so, what if you went to med school for free for a year and a half (MSTP program) and you decided to switch into just MD. What would happen to all that tuition they used to not charge?

I'm just curious how people would be able to switch out of MD/PhD since they pay for so many of your expenses.
 

Legato

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I'm not 100% sure, but I heard that you have to pay full tuition if you switch out.
 

GoSpursGo

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There's a difference between an MSTP program and a regular MD/PhD program. An MSTP gets their funding from the NIH (or some other national funding place, not sure where exactly) to cover students' tuition and stipend. Since the funding comes from the NIH, this money doesn't cost the schools a cent, and so while they're usually pretty pissed if you drop out of the program because it makes them look bad to the NIH, they don't/can't ask for any money back. However, if your school just has their own MD/PhD program that they fund on their own, they are going to hit you with a HEFTY bill for your backlogged tuition and for the stipend they gave you.
 
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MrBurns10

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GoSpursGo is right. The MSTP doesn't require you to pay anything back (I have two friends that have dropped to just the MD after 2nd year), but for some other schools that have their own programs you either have to pay tuition the first two years anyway or they make you pay at least a portion of it back. I believe BU does it the former way, where you have to pay the first two years of school (but you get the 3rd and 4th years after your PhD free).

But definitely don't do MSTP with the intention to just do the MD. Both my friends who dropped out of MD/PhD really thought it was for them, they just happened to change their minds after 2nd year.
 

Sulfinator

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I'm not 100% sure, but I heard that you have to pay full tuition if you switch out.

Whether or not you have to pay anything back can vary from program to program. Some programs do have so-called "re-payment clauses." Others let you take your free 2-year ride if you decide to drop the PhD portion after your second year of med school, although it doesn't make the administration very happy.
 

Neuronix

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Some of you are closer to right on this than others. I will explain.

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) funds a select group of programs (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/InstPredoc/PredocInst-MSTP.htm). That being said, the MSTP grant funds only a part of the MD/PhD training--on the order of 20-25% depending on the program. During the medical school component this is because the NIH caps how much they will pay per student for tuition and stipend. Most programs require higher medical school tuition than that and contribute more to the student's stipend than the NIH gives. Also, many schools take more students than they have MSTP funding to support. This does not create a MSTP funded vs. not MSTP funded scenario, but rather spreads the money around so that each student is funded only partially by the MSTP.

The MSTP dictates to programs that they are not permitted to require students pay back their medical school tuition, even though a sizeable chunk of the student's stipend, tuition, and benefits is paid by the medical school or other grants. Personal communication with the NIGMS MSTP director reveals (rightly, IMO) that one should not be forced to be in science any longer than one has to be.

Non-MSTP funded MD/PhD typically require payback contracts of their students. The legla enforceability of these contracts and how often they are enforced is debateable, as this equates more or less to indentured servitude.
 

howelljolly

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a whopping 30% drop back, most often to MD. Im not sure if this number is MSTP or overall MD/PhD, thought I'd suspect that MSTP keeps better national numbers.
 

howelljolly

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NEJM back in 1981

Since 1968 the number of postdoctoral research fellows with M.D.s or other professional degrees has fallen from about 4100 to 1730 in training each year. By 1980, the number of M.D. postdoctoral fellows entering and completing research training was about 850 per year. During the past 12 years, the number of M.D.-Ph.D. trainees has risen to about 650 in the federal Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and about 500 in nonfederal programs. The attrition rate in non-federal M.D.-Ph.D. programs has been shown to be 44 per cent, and that from the MSTP, 9 per cent. When the length of the training program, the attrition rate, and other factors are considered, present trainees will account for about 150 M.D.-Ph.D. graduates annually in the immediate future. Current training programs can meet only about half the estimated national need for physician researchers. The federal M.D.-Ph.D. program should be expanded to ensure that the country's future research and teaching needs will be met
 

Neuronix

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Thanks for the source. A lot has changed since the year I was born. But unfortunately I have no hard sources. I'd look but I'm kinda working today :( Anyone wanna do a lit search and see if anything comes up? We have a thread about MD/PhD articles in the forum and that's a good place to start.
 

howelljolly

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Thanks for the source. A lot has changed since the year I was born. But unfortunately I have no hard sources. I'd look but I'm kinda working today :( Anyone wanna do a lit search and see if anything comes up? We have a thread about MD/PhD articles in the forum and that's a good place to start.

Sorry, I did the quickest lit search thats ever been done to find that, Im up to my shoulders in OB/Gyn today.
 
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