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Graduate school before med school?

Erli

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    Hi all,

    I have a bunch of questions:

    Has anyone in this forum go to graduate school first to earn a PhD and then decide to go to medical school (not MSTP route)?

    Does anyone know if you can apply to an MSTP program retroactively?

    Has anyone in this forum drop out of graduate school to go to medical school?

    Is anyone taking the graduate school option if they don't get into medical school next fall?

    What to do what to do,
     

    jdovez

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      Erli said:
      Hi all,

      I have a bunch of questions:

      Has anyone in this forum go to graduate school first to earn a PhD and then decide to go to medical school (not MSTP route)?

      Does anyone know if you can apply to an MSTP program retroactively?

      Has anyone in this forum drop out of graduate school to go to medical school?

      Is anyone taking the graduate school option if they don't get into medical school next fall?

      What to do what to do,

      I tried to post but I think the computer ate it. If this is redundant, sorrry. Anyway, I went to grad school for a PhD, but after a year decided the life of research was not for me longterm. Therefore, I left school after that year, took the mcat and am now here trying to decide which school to go to. I wanted to have more of a direct impact affecting people's health.

      If you want to be a clinician, no reason to do grad school. If you want to do academic medicine then the MD/PhD is the most efficient option (PhD is usually 4-6 years, then med on top would be another 4). Good luck with your decision, if you want any specific answers or whatnot let me know.
       

      NeverGettingIn

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        I was unhappy with my first MCAT score, and curious about research, so I opted to jump into a Masters program to figure it all out while I studied my behind off for the MCAT-take-2. From my understanding, adcoms are leery of students withdrawing from a program to enter theirs because it suggests that you may do the same thing when it comes to their program ("well, you dropped out of that PhD program - how can you prove that you won't drop out of our MD program?"). However, if you can adequately demonstrate that you withdrew for good reason and that medicine is your true calling because of examples A, B, and C, then I'm sure that doesn't matter as strongly. So that being said, choose your path wisely and I certainly don't think that adding another degree to your resume will hurt you in your academic or professional pursuits.
        Best of Luck.
         
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        tinkerbelle

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          I didn't pursue a PhD, but I did get a Masters before going to med school. I'm not a big fan of research either, so I did this special masters program at the Hopkins School of Public Health where you can opt to stay for a second year and do research, but you don't have to.

          I always thought that dropping out of a masters program was a big no-no... and don't most schools accept you on the condition that you finish any degree programs you are currently in?
           

          Scottish Chap

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            Erli said:
            Hi all,

            I have a bunch of questions:

            Has anyone in this forum go to graduate school first to earn a PhD and then decide to go to medical school (not MSTP route)?

            Does anyone know if you can apply to an MSTP program retroactively?

            Has anyone in this forum drop out of graduate school to go to medical school?

            Is anyone taking the graduate school option if they don't get into medical school next fall?

            What to do what to do,

            Yes, I did a Ph.D. then a post-doc. I absolutely loved every part of my training. I will be an MSI this fall and I cannot wait.

            I would never have dropped out of my Ph.D. to apply to medical school. I know of two people who did this after their first year - and they applied to MSTP programs the following year. Both were accepted.

            I never applied to medical school after my undergraduate degree. I just followed my heart...and I'm still doing that. Trust me, working full-time in lab (>55 hrs per week) on several detailed projects while writing papers and constantly giving presentations is TOUGH and you do not want to be thinking about studying for the MCAT which tests you on classes you may have taken 10 years ago (when I looked over organic chemistry, I SWORE I had never taken that class!). My credentials were pretty mediocre all the way through, but I was always just good enough to get to the next level. Frankly, I think that's all you need. Free free to pm me if you need more info. Good luck!! :thumbup:
             

            PBMaxx

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              If I don't get into an MD program this year I do plan on pursuing a cancer biology PhD at one of the schools I am applying to (obviously provided I get accepted to the PhD program).

              I am on a waitlist at this particular school, my question is will I hurt my chances of acceptance for MD if I move forward on applying for the PhD (not MSTP)?
               

              Caligirl98

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                I'm currently in the 3rd year of a Ph.D. program and decided that I wanted to go to medical school at the middle/end of my second year (though going to medical school is something that I thought about while I was in college). Most of the people I have talked to recently about leaving graduate school for medical school have said to stay and finish my Ph.D. since not finishing it would be a big mark against me in the eyes of admissions committee members. This has been somewhat disappointing for me to hear considering I do no think I will be able to finish my Ph.D. for at least another 2-3 years. I know that going to medical school is the right decision for me and I want to be able to go sooner rather than later. But...if finishing my Ph.D. is what I have to do in order to further demonstrate that I am committed to a career in medicine then that is what I will do.
                 

                teh-t

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                  Erli said:
                  Hi all,

                  I have a bunch of questions:

                  Has anyone in this forum go to graduate school first to earn a PhD and then decide to go to medical school (not MSTP route)?
                  **** yes

                  Does anyone know if you can apply to an MSTP program retroactively?
                  **** why would you want to if you already have a phd?

                  Has anyone in this forum drop out of graduate school to go to medical school?
                  **** if you enter grad school dont "drop out" with anything less than a masters or you will look bad

                  Is anyone taking the graduate school option if they don't get into medical school next fall?

                  What to do what to do,
                  see above
                   

                  tigress

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                    At most schools you can apply MSTP after a year of either med school or grad school. I am a first year grad student and I'm taking the MCAT in April. I will either apply to MSTP retroactively or leave grad school and apply MD with the next cycle. I discussed this with many people, including the dean of admissions at a local med school, an I am reassured that leaving grad school after a year will not hurt my chances of MD acceptance. I just have to be able to explain my decision to the admissions committees. I have personally met two successful doctors who did just that. PM me for more info -- I broke my right arm last night and typing with just my left hand is tedious :p
                     

                    QofQuimica

                    Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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                      I am finishing my PhD this year and plan to apply for 2006 for med school. I did try to retroactively join my school's MSTP and was not successful; they interviewed me, but at the end of the day, the dean told me that the committee had discussed it and decided that I would be better off finishing the PhD first and then they would be happy to take me as a straight MD student. Apparently there were some political issues between the med and grad schools about stealing each other's students that I was not aware of at the time.

                      I would advise against going to grad school planning to transfer from straight PhD to MSTP. It is a lot more difficult to accomplish, and may not even be possible at some schools. If you know that you want an MD/PhD, apply straight to a combined program. I am sorry in retrospect that I did not do this, as I have taken a very roundabout path to my goals.

                      There are some other threads about this topic in the MSTP and biomedical science forums.
                       

                      PHD_2007

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                        I agree with everyone on this thread..... I am a 3rd year PHD student (Biomedical Science--Heart Development) and I recommend that if your true calling is medicine do the straight MD path. If you want a MD/PHD go for MSTP! I chose the long route and I have 2 more years here and then I am applying to medical school for the 2007 class. Studying for the MCAT, doing research, and preparing presentations is a major hassle that I would try at all costs to avoid!!!! Trying to interview and write a dissertation will be even harder so I would advise you to go for the MSTP!!! Now I have to go back to working on a presentation and to my lab bench!!!!! LOL At the end of the day you have to realize that it is all worth it!!!!!!
                         

                        Jeff05

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                          you do not need to have a phD to be a clinical researcher. the vast majority do not have phDs. now, if you want to be chairman of a research dept. etc., a phD helps, but, again, is by no means required.

                          in my class of 230 there were 2 phDs.
                           

                          mfcus

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                            I actually have my masters in cell and molecular biology but I was a PhD candidate. I jumped through all of the hoops and was in that particular project for three years. I always knew I would apply to medical school but if your heart is not totally into it then you will not be as successful as you could be. I had to go to graduate school and do well in order to apply to medical school and I also had problems with my PI i.e. funding, he was crazy etc.. So, if I could do it over again I would have done a non-thesis masters and studied my ass off for the MCAT in the summer. In grad school there is not as much free time as you would think and they don't like seeing you put too much time into your classes (takes you out of the lab!), especially studying for the MCAT. I was told by ADCOMS and if you look at medical school websites they point blank say that you need a letter from the chairman of the department stating that you will be done with your degree before matriculating. I also know allot of people that applied while in grad school and the schools refused to factor their graduate work into there application because they had not completed there thesis. The bright side of this is that when they did defend then the schools looked at the work and they got into med school. Good Luck!
                             

                            uptoolate

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                              Ditto on what everyone else said- I am finishing my PhD now-I don't have any regrets and still intend to use the degree. However, if I had done this right six years ago, I would have done the MSTP program and gotten both degrees PAID for in half the time. Most MD/Phd programs have beaucoup tuition funding + office space and what not.

                              If you're looking to strengthen your chances as an applicant by getting the PhD- I would *strongly* recommend a masters degree or one of the other programs mentioned in this thread.
                               
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