10+ Year Member
- Oct 14, 2011
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I'm a statistics major at an R1 mid-western state school. As of now, I am confident that I would like to pursue research in computational biology (I'm in a comp bio lab right now) and translate this to a clinical setting, but I am not sure how to plan out my coursework/general path to acheive this goal. I would love to get a minor in computer science as well, but this would jeopardize my ability to take more upper level biology courses (so far I have only physiology). Furthermore, I have been given advice to spend a year or two in industry instead of post-bac research to orient myself and see if I really want to pursue an MD/PhD.
In essence, would it be wise for me to emphasize computational coursework over advanced biological classes, and is taking gap years in industry over an academic lab a smart idea. Thanks.
The easiest thing to do is get your Ph.D. in computational biology first, then go for medical school. Otherwise, find out which programs exist that you would like to do research in. Then you can check those schools to see if they work with their medical school for combined degree programs. Off the top of my head, there is likely one or two such programs that exist. None of the MSTP's have that route as far as I know, and the closest route may involve departments of bioengineering.
I think you need to do a lot more digging into what the goal of MD/PhD programs is. Plenty has been written and posted on the AAMC Aspiring Docs website and Science Careers about what it entails.