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Is excess research experience what is keeping me without MD-only acceptance?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by SticknRudder, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. SticknRudder

    SticknRudder Throttle Up Baby!
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    So here's the story: Through college, I dabbled in lots of things science related and ultimately decided (after 3 years doing research as an undergrad) that research by itself was not for me: mainly because of the extreme disparity between effort out to emotional satisfaction in (i.e. 1 year of experiments for 1 happy moment). So, I decided to apply for medical school, which I always found an exciting opportunity with great challenges and diverse career potential.

    With that said, I also found that doing research was very helpful in filling in the gaps that were glossed over in the textbook-only arena.

    So, I decide to take a year off and apply during that year while taking some fun classes and also continuing research (which I start to really enjoy because I changed emphasis from insect biochemistry to pediatric nephrology). 2 publications later, and a couple more in the hopper, I am in the middle of the application process.

    My EC's as an undergrad consisted of 2 years of volunteering at a Boys and Girls club (award for Volunteer of the Year), 1.5 years of hospice volunteering, and other small stuff like clubs, etc.


    I applied to a broad range of schools - most which allowed for some sort of research emphasized MD, thinking that I could continue research if I so desired (which I did and still do). I interviewed at 5 schools: State school, Columbia, Cornell, Wash U, and Tufts.

    I thought I was golden. My last interview was in November.


    Fast forward to today: 3 rejections, and still waiting on WashU and Tufts.


    So I ask: Did emphasis on research in my application (in terms of my most significant undergrad experience) hurt me? I only ask because I can't find any other flaw in my application.

    I don't think numbers (GPA/MCAT) were the problem otherwise I would have been screened out for interview.

    Couldn't have been lack of research or significant ECs.

    The only other possibility that I can grasp is that my ommition of a LOR from my hospice coordinator hurt me (the coordinator I worked the most time with up and quit without even telling any of the volunteers. Her replacement was a great guy, but didn't feel comfortable asking him for a LOR on 1 month's notice).


    HELP! Should I have applied MD/PhD if I knew in my hearts of hearts that I wanted to continue research, on some level, in the future?? I didn't because I thought the plain MD afforded me the same opportunity....

    I'm getting the feeling that a reapplication is coming soon so I really would appreciate some advice.

    Thanks All!
     
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  2. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
    Staff Member Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

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    MD-only admissions is a crap shoot--moreso than MD/PhD admissions in my opinion. Frankly, you didn't apply to enough schools and unfortunately, it backfired in your case. I would say your application sounds reasonably strong, and barring anything like a bad LOR or interviews, you should try applying MD-only again next year to more like a dozen or more schools.

    Depending on your numbers, you may have had more success applying MD/PhD. This can be the case for the research-heavy applicant. Even if you do reapply as MD/PhD, I'd strongly suggest applying to more schools.

    As for what adcoms are thinking... Who knows sometimes. I could try to speculate, but it would be just as random as their speculations I think. In any case, too much research never hurts, it's just not as important to the MD-only adcom. I figure they look at it as just another strong EC, and when you have so many EC loaded pre-meds, it's hard to choose between them.

    Good luck with your reminaing schools! Maybe it will still happen for you this year...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    SticknRudder

    SticknRudder Throttle Up Baby!
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    Thanks for the thoughts. It's always nice to have unbiased input.

    I think it did definatley hurt me not to apply to more schools. I think I will pick a few MD/PhD programs to apply to and cast a really wide net for applications to MD-only schools.
     
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  4. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm in that same situtation..I feel your pain...+pissed+


    Always next year.
     

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