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Humanities Major with First Author Publication for Md/PhD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AticusHolmes, Mar 4, 2012.

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  1. AticusHolmes

    AticusHolmes 2+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2011
    I majored in Comparative Religion in undergrad, but minored in Chem and Bio. My GPA is 3.85 in both the sciences and general, and my MCAT was a 35.

    I did research with a chem prof of mine, and I have about 6 poster presentations at different conferences, (One of which was at a National ACS conference.) Paper is going to be published this summer in either Macromolecules or Bio-macromolecules. I am the first author on the paper. The research concerned protein hydrogels. We developed a novel protein that has unique a hydrolysis reaction, which we had to develop a model for to describe (Didn't follow Michaelis–Menten Kinetics)

    Does this kind of research make me eligible at a MD/PhD program since I didn't major in science in college. I don't want to do a hardcore science PhD, many schools offer a social science track. I would like to get a PhD in psychology (I want to do neurology, so maybe a neuropsych degree.)

    What do you guys think?
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  3. 1TB4RKSB4CK

    1TB4RKSB4CK wussup doge Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

    May 6, 2010
    Idk but your application makes you well set for the upcoming cycle.
  4. 235788

    235788 God Complex 2+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    The Slab
    I've never seen a non-science based phd - for an MD/PHD. They could exist though.
  5. blizzah

    blizzah 5+ Year Member

    May 4, 2010
    I think you have a good chance, and if not MD/PhD, then MD only for sure.

    However, you have a religion undergrad, chemistry research experience and are looking to do a psych PHD? If I were an adcomm, I would question that so hopefully you have rationale and reasons to want to make that switch.
  6. Lil Mick

    Lil Mick 5+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    The South
    They do exist, albeit less commonly at the schools allowing students to pursue such (UIC, U of Chicago, Stanford, U Florida come to mind). Smaller programs are usually more flexible than established programs like Yeshiva or Wash U... Send me a PM if you want to know more. I'm not in biology and can refer back to my notes from when I was applying.
  7. hoya09

    hoya09 2+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2008
    I'm a second year in a social science MD/PhD. Your credentials are impressive for doing a dual degree program in general, but my question is: why Psych? As someone noted above, it doesn't seem to fit with your research background/ major. You should have a good answer to that question before applying. Even if it doesn't come up in the MD interviews, the PhD program is going to want to know that you're committed to the field.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  8. xXIDaShizIXx

    xXIDaShizIXx 5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    They do exist. I called Arizona and they said they will tailor a program to your needs. I wanted an MD/ PsyD and they were willing to do it.
  9. 1TB4RKSB4CK

    1TB4RKSB4CK wussup doge Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

    May 6, 2010
    U Florida only if you live in FL.
    I hear it's extremely hard to get in if you are OOS, if at all.

    JESSFALLING 2+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Your app sounds very compelling for plain MD/DO already. I'm assuming that you have some neuro/psych background that you didn't mention. I recommend applying broadly (30ish schools) and you should hopefully get interviews. Just remember that it's intelligence, work ethic, and results that matter, not so much your major.

    P.s. Go Team Religion!

    Edit: I re-read that your goal is to do neurology. If your goal is primarily clinical, then I'd honestly recommend MD only. You can likely do some neuro research as an MD student, and then attend a neuro residency, and possibly a neuro-psych fellowship. That would give you solid training and still allow you to pursue research, which you obviously don't need a PhD to do.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  11. AticusHolmes

    AticusHolmes 2+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2011
    I would like to do research and have a small private practice. The MD is enough to be taken seriously?
  12. aSagacious

    aSagacious Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    Absolutely. Often MDs pursue research fellowships for a year or two in a field of interest to get their feet wet before beginning a project on their own. A PhD might be overkill if you'd just like to dabble in some research on the side.
  13. tigol31


    Jun 9, 2011
    MD/PhD is geared for people who want to go into academic medicine and spend the majority (80%) of their time doing research, not private practice. If you don't want to do hardcore science, then there is very little need for the PhD. Also, while your research credentials sound great, I doubt that they would help you much in trying to apply to a social sciences track MD/PhD position. These spots are rare and are given to people who are accomplished in some field of social sciences. I suggest that you go to the Physician Scientist forum to learn more about the pros and cons of MD/PhD programs.
  14. Lil Mick

    Lil Mick 5+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    The South
    That doesn't apply to MD/PhD applicants. Generally, those are the only students interviewed and accepted by state schools with very few OOS.
  15. AticusHolmes

    AticusHolmes 2+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2011
    Thanks, You guys have been a lot of help.
  16. Picchu127

    Picchu127 5+ Year Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    careful with the social science PhD track though in terms of time. Most medical licensing authorities requires all 3 steps to be taken within 7 years ( see below from the USMLE). If you do a PhD in a science related field they MAY extend it to 10 but most of the info I have seen specifically excludes social sciences. You can definitely do it in 7, but gotta not take too long on the PhD and take step 3 fairly early in residency.


    You must pass Step 1 and Step 2 before you are eligible to take Step 3. In LCME-accredited medical schools, although Step 1 and Step 2 can be taken in any order, most students will take Step 1 at the end of their second year and Step 2 in their fourth year; Step 3 is usually taken during the first or second year of postgraduate training. Students and graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada should contact the ECFMG for information on ECFMG Certification and Step 1 and Step 2 eligibility. Most medical licensing authorities require completion of USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3 within a seven-year period, which begins when you pass your first Step. Check the FSMB website for further information on such requirements.
  17. BiopsychStudent

    BiopsychStudent 2+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    I may be wrong on this, but an MD/PhD program is still a PhD program, isn't it? I don't think many mentors will take a chance on you as a graduate student in psychology if you've never done research in the field before. Comparative religion really isn't "close enough" to let that slide.
  18. Moebius

    Moebius 5+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2008
    Let me put it this way, most attendings don't have first author publications.

  19. varsityblue

    varsityblue SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor 2+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    I'm interested in social science PhD programs as well and know that Duke, Harvard, Yale, Penn, Chicago, and Stanford offer customizable programs with stipend support. You're definitely going to want to take the GRE and be able to articulate why you're making the switch from a the humanities and basic sciences to the social sciences. You may even benefit from developing an email rapport with department heads of the PhD programs you're interested in. Best wishes.
  20. Chrome19

    Chrome19 2+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    I think your application looks strong. Just apply broadly.

    And congrats on the potential paper. I've been doing research for a while now and still no publication, although I'll publish in the summer. But undergrads aren't expected to publish anyways, let alone be first author, so it'll be nice to have a paper in press by the time you apply. A PhD student in my PI's lab didn't publish until 6 months post-graduation and she ran several projects concurrently. Curiously my PI says she's the best student he has ever had.

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