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I'm gonna talk to UCLA MSTP director on Weds, please gimme a list of questions

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by sluox, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. sluox

    Physician

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    I'm at UCLA right now, and I'm going to talk to the director of MSTP on Weds. I'd like to be a little more prepared. Please submit any questions that you may want me to ask him and I'll post the answers after the meeting.

    On a separate note, I called the admissions office today and they told me that they accept upper level chemistry class as a substitute for AP credit in general chemistry. So the myth that UCLA does not accept AP credit under any and all circumstances is, fortunately, strictly a myth.
     
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  3. jot

    jot

    ask them if they will let "Jot" in. :D if not, i suggest you vigorously argue my case for the remainder of the meeting.
    <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> -jot
     
  4. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
    Physician PhD Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by sluox:
    <strong>I'm at UCLA right now, and I'm going to talk to the director of MSTP on Weds. I'd like to be a little more prepared. Please submit any questions that you may want me to ask him and I'll post the answers after the meeting.

    On a separate note, I called the admissions office today and they told me that they accept upper level chemistry class as a substitute for AP credit in general chemistry. So the myth that UCLA does not accept AP credit under any and all circumstances is, fortunately, strictly a myth.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I for one got out of physics, general chemistry, 1 semester of english & mathematics. I took no upper level classes in physics, 2 semesters of physical chemistry, 1 semester of english, and 1 semester of calculus. I would find it rare to see that I would find students who would take advantage of this loophole by taking 2 semesters of quantum mechanics over foregoing AP credit -- in fact I would find it rare that all majors outside of chemistry and physics would willingly take upper level classes in chemistry and physics rather than foregoing lower level courses.

    Frankly I think UCLA's requirements are ridiculous, but I imagine that they had to bow to college policy [undergrad AP credit isn't acceptable here].

    Yours,

    Jason
     
  5. Bikini Princess

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    Admissions:
    -Extra LOR's required? from who?
    -Specific research interest required?
    -Interview format
    -Study opportunities
    -Rolling admissions, or periodical?
    -Interview window, # interview slots
    -How many slots in program/year
    -Adcom makeup - Clinical? Research? Academic? %'s

    Stipends:
    -How much/year?
    -Same $ for med as for grad?
    -How much does it increase each year? ie cost of living)
    -Chief source of funding (nih? nigms?)
    -Is the stipend $ the same amount the grad students get? sometimes they give md/phd less $ then phd.
    -Does stipend $ depend on which grad school dept you enter? (often it does with grad school..sometimes certain PI's will give you extra stipend $ as an incentive)
    -Various fees covered also?

    Students:
    -How many years do students take 6/7/8+?
    -What types of programs do grads enter? (fellowship/postdoc/residency?)
    -What kinds of PGY's do the students do? Mostly medicine?
    -Student makeup/states of residence
    -What fields do students research? (this might have some bearing on you...ie if they are all neuroscientists..)
     
  6. jot

    jot

    or you could ask those questions :D
     
  7. Cough

    Cough Junior Member

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    Uhhh....I think she about covered it.
     
  8. sluox

    Physician

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    Jason, did you call the admissions office to make sure that they don't accept P-chem in lieu of the general chemistry requirement? Yesterday I called them and the guy told me that if I take the graduate chemistry class as I've told them I would, then it's all jolly good.

    Or did you just not apply at all?

    Anyway, saw your web-site, pretty cool

    Sean
     
  9. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
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    Sean,

    I didn't even send in the secondary when I saw I had 5-6 classes to take in order to get into the school.

    C'est la vie.

    Cheers,

    Jason
     
  10. sluox

    Physician

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    I went in to talk to the MSTP director, Stanley G. Korenman M.D. It was very formal. The guy barely smiles and doesn't seem to be very enthusiastic. He seems nice though. Although, because I was very prepared, the conversation flows fairly well. This is just a bit of an early test for interviews. I was fairly keen on making a good impression so I was a bit nervous at first. I would've dressed up if not for the fact that I didn't bring my nice shoes to California.

    Anyway, long story short, UCLA is very rigid about MD/PhD each having its own cirriculum...no cirriculum intergration. it takes close to eight years to complete on average. Six years is virtually unheard of. This seems to be the new trend for MDPHDs. Also, the clinical years are not shortened. Bygones are the ol' days of my research advisor, who's an MSTP from UCSD, and it only took him five years! (Yes 5)

    Also, for international students out there, he said that it's definitely possible to do it without the funding. What they are really looking for is the qualification, not the funding sources. He commented on how internationals tend not to be able to communicate effectively, etc.

    The caltech program is separate from the UCLA program and it takes an addtional day of interview. Usually this program competes with students who are simultanously accepted by Harvard and the like, go figure. Only two are enrolled every year.

    Finally, it's rolling admissions, but they usually don't have a bias towards people who are interviewed at an earlier date. (This one is a little shaky though...I recommend submitting your app as early as possible and get the earliest date for interviewing as a rule of thumb.)

    He said that California kids tend to want to stay in California. However, residency is not going to be looked at AT ALL. Specific research (3 yrs in 1 lab) is not favored over broad research (1 years in 3 diff labs). These can be probably taken as the general rule for MSTP admissions. Interviews are all research based. This may not be the case for other schools. He mentioned that it's possible that the interviewer is a researcher in your field and a clinician simultanously. Also, it's possible to have him as one of the interviewers. (Be forewarned...)

    Unfortunately he didn't disclose any insider's info (or "intel"). I didn't get too much out of it, except that UCLA really really has a really really rigorous standard. (yeah whatever) At the end some janitor came in to vacuum the room, and he told me that I'll get in somewhere (what in the world, he barely knows who i am...) and the important part is not getting in, but where.

    Didn't ask for my record. I'm expecting this sort of supercilious manners all the way through next year. Man i wish i could call Dean of Medical School "dude" instead of Dr. X. The day I become an ADCOM member, I'll drink beer with my interviewees, I swear to god...
     
  11. shamus1

    shamus1 Member

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    I had heard that Korenman was supposed to retire this year; he's been there since dirt was invented. I think that your experience will probably not be duplicated next year when you are actually on the interview trail, it was just Korenman.

    Your other comments seem to be on the mark, though I think that a number of programs are working on curriculum integration. The NIH gives spats to programs that do not attempt to integrate. People have told me that the lengthening time to degree is due to increased clinical requirements forced by accrediting agencies; increasing complexity of science, which means you no longer can get by with getting a PhD just for doing a knockout; and personal choice on the part of students. This last one may be part of the "In my day, we worked in lab 20 hours a day, seven days a week and considered ourselves luck to be able to do so" thing.
     
  12. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am just starting the MSTP at UCLA. I'm doing my first summer research rotation this month, and will start MSI in August. We just had the MSTP orientation, so I may be able to answer some of your questions. Anyhow, as far Dr. Korenman goes, he seems like a nice guy and willing to help students. He is stepping down as the head of the program next summer. Dr. Owen Witte will be taking over from him.

    If you have any other questions I can try and answer them.

    Good luck,

    Adam
     
  13. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    Sluox,
    Just as Shasmus said, don't worry about that one experience. You'll find out that MSTP interviews are loads of fun. I had a blast on mine. As far as drinking beer with your students (interviewees), that's normal. I don't drink much but if you like wine, then you'll be happy at most of your MSTP interviews. Most MSTP directors put in an effort to be entertaining. These guys are in competition with each other.
     
  14. Bikini Princess

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    Yay!! :D
     

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