I'm in need of some advice on a course of action

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by Maeru, Dec 19, 2012.

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  1. Maeru


    Dec 4, 2012
    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of deciding where I want to apply and if MD/PhD makes sense for me and/or if it's feasible. I'll graduate with a 3.82 science gpa and I have a 41R MCAT, my issue, however, is research. I feel like I'm a little lacking compared to my peers. I decided to go into medical school the beginning of my junior year so this is all since then.

    I have 1.5 years of research experience with a team at an ivy league school, but I worked extensively with them. It wasn't a "one or two hours a week" type thing. Over winter breaks I worked 40 hours a week or so, and during the school year and summer I averaged 10 to 20. All in all I'd estimate I spent well over 1500 hours. I got in at the start of a newer project and was involved in a lot of different aspects from assisting with imaging, setting up patient interviews and screening them, working with primate and rodent brains, etc. Over the last four or five months I was pretty much independent in my work. I'm listed on the publication as an author.

    I also worked a little less extensively with another lab, and did my own research project for school credit.

    My question is whether or not I should take an extra year to try to get more research, or if I can get in with what I have here. My recommendation letters should be shining. I don't mind taking another year, and I'm sure I could volunteer full time with the lab if I needed to.

    I guess one more year isn't terrible in the grand scheme of things, but I'm already 23 and considering most programs would be 7-9 years I don't want to put off applications forever.
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  3. meowkat444

    meowkat444 7+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    you'll be fine, apply. you'll likely be able to get interviews at top schools.
  4. Fencer

    Fencer MD/PhD Director 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    You will be fine... Write killer essays.
  5. Maeru


    Dec 4, 2012
    Okay, cool! I'd honestly rather not wait the extra year anyway haha.

    One question I had is that there's a kinda iffy grade for one of my prerequisites and its in an easy course which is embarrassing. My first semester as a science major I took all sciences after never really taking heavy science courses and my grades suffered as a result. Ended up with a C+ in Gen Chem I (/cringe). I got literally straight A's in the rest of the science work I took from then on out though, and I scored really well on the MCAT, so I'm assuming the Adcoms can look past a ****ty start since my grades show I can handle academics.
  6. latebutterflu

    latebutterflu MSTP Student 5+ Year Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    You'll be fine with the grade, with your GPA you have clearly proven that you can handle upper-level science work.

    I think that schools go a little easier on applicants applying while still in college in terms of amount of research, as long as you have a solid project and have done some real hypothesis-driven scientific inquiry.
  7. CrossCurrent


    Sep 13, 2012
    I think you should be fine. On your research experience essay emphasize the scientific thought process and thinking invovled in the projects (as well as methodology) and make sure you have amazing recs (these really go a long way).
  8. delirium81

    delirium81 7+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    I'm sure you didn't require people here to tell you that your stats or time spent doing research isn't the problem for you.

    So if you have uncertainty regarding whether or not "it makes sense for you," I suspect you're the only one who can answer that.

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