Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2013
4,658
5,950
Under the Bay Bridge
Status
Pre-Medical
Recently, I have done some research on these forums, stumbling upon threads such as this one: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/its-insanely-difficult-to-get-into-a-top-im-program-from-a-non-top-25-medical-school.1073026/

I understand that this question has been asked and answered, but I am hoping to receive advice regarding my scenario.

It seems like, to a certain extent, Medical School Pedigree does matter if a student were to pursue academic medicine. Currently, I am an undergraduate at a research-oriented school, if not one of the most research-oriented ones, and am hoping to apply to MSTP, MD-PHD programs, etc.

If my long term goals involved becoming heavily involved in something like this, would it be advisable for me to be careful with when I apply to medical schools?

I have read many threads that suggest applying to medical schools more than one round is a heavy risk, as many medical schools have either blacklisted re-applicants and/or looked down upon it. If I can produce good research and publications while pursuing a MS or the like before applying to medical school, would that be a better route? I am sincerely sorry for sounding arrogant, but I wouldn't want to, say, lock myself out of academic medicine because I simply had a busy senior undergraduate year. I'd imagine that doing an MS, or perhaps PHD now that I think about it, would give me much more freedom in my schedule to focus on medical school applications than a BS.

Thank you for all your help.
A PhD for the sake of improving your med school app would be overkill. Though a gap year may help for the research powerhouses. However, it may not be necessary if you already have substantial research as an undergrad.

Regardless, you should aim to put out the best possible app on your first attempt.
 

WedgeDawg

not actually a dog
Staff member
Administrator
7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2012
7,633
12,398
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You won't lock yourself out of academic medicine by any means by not going to a research powerhouse school. Will it be arguably easier to enter academic medicine from a research powerhouse? Yes, but you can do so from any school.

In terms of a career in academic medicine:

Research heavy MD school > any MD school >>> DO school >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> not getting into medical school
 

Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2013
4,658
5,950
Under the Bay Bridge
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you all for replying. So from what I'm gathering, perhaps the marginal benefit of delaying applying for medical school, for the sake of enhancing chances to a research heavy MD school, is probably not too significant to worry about?
Delaying an already strong app to pad your research could be a waste of your time.

Have you done an MDapps search?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lucca

Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2013
4,658
5,950
Under the Bay Bridge
Status
Pre-Medical
By that, do you mean this website? https://www.mdapplicants.com/search

If so, yes. I've taken the information posted there with a grain of salt though. To be honest though, I find the data a bit discouraging, but I guess that's simply admissions in general. I might just give it a shot, since I arguably survived the undergrad application season.
Why don't you give us your stats, ECs, etc?
 

aldol16

2+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2015
4,904
3,414
Status
Medical Student
I can give the perspective from the PhD side of things (I guess the "academic" in "academic medicine") although it will depend on the school and how its academic research programs are run. There's a rule-of-thumb in academia that you won't teach anywhere higher than where you got your PhD. This is a very loose rule-of-thumb, of course, and where you do your post-doctoral fellowship also matters but in general, pedigree matters for academics. Who you work for is just as important, as your mentor will shape your research skills and allow you to develop your potential (or not). Academia is a small world and everyone knows everyone so name and connections matter.

Now, whether it's any different for MD/PhD programs is a question best left to someone with a dual degree.
 

Shirafune

5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2014
946
733
Status
Medical Student
I'd prefer not to disclose much, but for the sake of the conversation, let's say I'm a borderline applicant:
HYPSM applicant
3.7-3.9 GPA
Low 520 MCAT
Very strong focus in one research area, been sticking with one lab for 2 years and planning to continue, lab is one of the biggest in the university if not the biggest
Volunteering in the same research area in a clinical setting
Ties to family in that research area, as in more motivation etc. to why I've been pursuing it
Potential double major, might just go for a minor and take more graduate level classes
URM kind of




A bit scary, if you ask me! I've considered becoming a professor. Knowing a few professors who have balanced research and work in the clinical setting, I've found these people's work very fulfilling. I hope to do the same in the future, and that's why I'm really hoping that brand-name won't preclude me from such!
You're not even close to being a borderline applicant. You really don't need to worry.
 

Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2013
4,658
5,950
Under the Bay Bridge
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd prefer not to disclose much, but for the sake of the conversation, let's say I'm a borderline applicant:
HYPSM applicant
3.7-3.9 GPA
Low 520 MCAT
Very strong focus in one research area, been sticking with one lab for 2 years and planning to continue, lab is one of the biggest in the university if not the biggest
Volunteering in the same research area in a clinical setting
Ties to family in that research area, as in more motivation etc. to why I've been pursuing it
Potential double major, might just go for a minor and take more graduate level classes
URM kind of




A bit scary, if you ask me! I've considered becoming a professor. Knowing a few professors who have balanced research and work in the clinical setting, I've found these people's work very fulfilling. I hope to do the same in the future, and that's why I'm really hoping that brand-name won't preclude me from such!
Stats-wise, you're in the top percentile. And your research seems to meet the criteria of the top programs.

I'm actually not sure why you started this thread.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weirdy

alpha-GTP

Where's my 5' UTR?
Jun 16, 2016
389
520
Some membrane somewhere
Status
Pre-Medical
Stats-wise, you're in the top percentile. And your research seems to meet the criteria of the top programs.

I'm actually not sure why you started this thread.
Well...who doesn't need to do a little humble-brag every once in a while to fish for external validation.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,147
32,690
Status
Academic Administration
One rather interesting thing I've discovered after >35 years of working with MDs at academic powerhouses: a great many of the physicians I've worked with at a top 20 private school have been graduates of public medical schools. It is far more about where you do your residency/fellowship. I suspect that this is, in part, because public school students graduate with less debt and are therefore more inclined to take a (lower paying) job in academic medicine.

@Emulteapj you seem to have a good shot at MSTP although being "somewhat URM" won't really help.

Rather than thinking about powerhouse or not, think about the school where you have the best fit with the research interests of the faculty members with research labs. Being chosen for interviews in MSTP is largely about the reviewers' belief that you will be a good fit with some of the PIs, one of whom will end up being your PhD advisor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bee17 and Goro
Jan 26, 2015
477
460
Status
MD/PhD Student
You should post in the physician-scientist forum for more targeted advice. You are not borderline, even for top MSTPs. Your stats will not keep you out of any MSTP. But they also will not be the thing that gets you in; at the top programs you seem to be interested in, many people have sky-high stats. What will matter most for you in admissions is the quality of your research experience, your ability to talk about your research, and "fit" (aka good interview skills).
 
OP
E

Emulteapj

2+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2016
10
29
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you all for the thoughtful input. You've given me much to consider.