Is it possible to enter MD/PhD program after one year of MD program?

timmyboy213

5+ Year Member
May 25, 2010
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Pre-Medical
Hi all,

So, I am currently in midst of applying to MD programs for the fall of 2011. Relevant stats are as follows:

-33O MCAT (10 VR, 11 PS, 12 BS)
-4.0 GPA (small-ish liberal arts university in Missouri)
-3.97 grad GPA (M.S. in Microbiology and Immunology from Georgetown University)
-Currently, participating in Post-bac research fellowship at the NIH

I began working at the NIH in September, but I am discovering that I greatly enjoy conducting research. I definitely still want to pursue an MD, but an MD/PhD sounds quite appealing to me also.

At this point in time however, it is too late to do much in applying to MD/PhD programs. Thus, is it possible to begin enter an MD/PhD program after completing a year of an MD program?

Are there any schools that allow you to add on the PhD after completion of your first MD year, or do you have to begin the MD/PhD program from the beginning? It seems that since the first year is generally geared mostly toward the MD program, that this wouldn't be a big deal, but I can't seem to find a lot of information on it.

Since I didn't realize how much I would enjoy research before completing my applications, it puts me in an interesting situation. Thus, if anyone could shed some light on this for me or point me in the direction of some additional resources, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!! :)
 
Jul 19, 2010
677
6
Old Swampy
Status
Medical Student
Hi all,

So, I am currently in midst of applying to MD programs for the fall of 2011. Relevant stats are as follows:

-33O MCAT (10 VR, 11 PS, 12 BS)
-4.0 GPA (small-ish liberal arts university in Missouri)
-3.97 grad GPA (M.S. in Microbiology and Immunology from Georgetown University)
-Currently, participating in Post-bac research fellowship at the NIH

I began working at the NIH in September, but I am discovering that I greatly enjoy conducting research. I definitely still want to pursue an MD, but an MD/PhD sounds quite appealing to me also.

At this point in time however, it is too late to do much in applying to MD/PhD programs. Thus, is it possible to begin enter an MD/PhD program after completing a year of an MD program?

Are there any schools that allow you to add on the PhD after completion of your first MD year, or do you have to begin the MD/PhD program from the beginning? It seems that since the first year is generally geared mostly toward the MD program, that this wouldn't be a big deal, but I can't seem to find a lot of information on it.

Since I didn't realize how much I would enjoy research before completing my applications, it puts me in an interesting situation. Thus, if anyone could shed some light on this for me or point me in the direction of some additional resources, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!! :)

If you want to get a Ph.D., no school will deny you that opportunity, and in fact, most would welcome your choice. The issue is whether or not you'll be eligible for funding. I cannot think of a school that would charge you tuition for the Ph.D., but whether or not the school would be willing to pay your tuition for years 2, 3, and 4 is more tricky
 

URHere

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,775
546
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Resident [Any Field]
Several schools allow MD students to apply internally for MD/PhD programs (usually after MS1 or MS2). Whether or not a school generally allow this depends on a few things:

1) Funding allocation. Most MD/PhD programs are fully funded, but that money comes from different places. If there is more money available to fund upper year students (for one reason or another), internal admissions are more likely.

2) Rotation/course requirements. Some schools require MD/PhD students to begin rotations before MS1 year, and others require PhD courses to be taken during the preclinical years of med school. I imagine joining the program late would be more difficult at these schools.

3) Program size. Basically, in order to be accepted for an MD/PhD spot, there has to be one available. In larger programs, there may be more chance that an existing MD/PhD student may drop out of the program, but in my experience it is pretty rare to see someone drop as early as MS1 or MS2 year.

If you are interested in MD/PhD training, I would suggest that you email the MD/PhD program directors of your various schools and ask about internal applications. It probably wouldn't hurt to touch base with some current students and ask them how often it happens.

In general, if you want to be a successful internal applicant, you need to be just as competitive as a traditional MD/PhD applicant. Because it sounds like you will have no more than a year of research experience before starting medical school, I would suggest that you continue research during your MS1 year if you are serious about the MD/PhD path. This may mean attending a school with a more flexible class schedule, etc.
 

tremulousNeedle

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
623
5
Status
Attending Physician
Several schools allow MD students to apply internally for MD/PhD programs (usually after MS1 or MS2).
Good advice here.
 

mdeast

7+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2009
2,374
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Status
Resident [Any Field]
I know a bunch of people attempting this at my medical school. While difficult, it's definitely an option. They tend to select people who have already established a good relationship with a lab, have taken the initiative to fulfill some of the requirement classes for the particular PhD program they want to pursue, and have been in consistent in their intention to join the program. Spots usually open up on a number of different reasons...mainly that a first year student deferred, or they accepted a smaller incoming MSTP class, or that a particular student finishes early, drops out, etc.

The further you are along in your career and the less they'd need to fund for you, the more likely that you'll be accepted. Most student I've seen who have done the program have completed 2 years of med school, conducted research for a year after their second year through a HHMI grant, internal funding, etc. That leaves potentially only 1-3 years left of your PhD and 2 years of clinical time before graduating. It's much more likely the institution would fund that applicant than a first year medical student who would have 3 years of medical school, and 3-4 years of a PhD left.
 
OP
T

timmyboy213

5+ Year Member
May 25, 2010
56
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for all of the advice everyone!! Hearing that it is still an option after starting an MD program makes me feel much better, as there is not a whole lot I can do about it at this point in time.

It seems that I really need to inquire at specific schools to see what their policies are.

If anyone has additional input, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!