Is this a valid reason to apply to both MD and MD/PhD programs?

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ma2

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Jan 19, 2017
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Yes, I’ve read the threads already posted, but I haven’t found one for my case.
cGPA: 3.8
sGPA: 3.68
MCAT: 520
Research: 2.5 years, first author pub

My MCAT I think is okay for programs, it’s my GPA that I’m worried about. I would love to pursue an MD/PhD, but I recognize I can do research as an MD only. I want to apply to both and see what happens.

Also, some Med schools in my state don’t have MD/PhD programs, and location is a somewhat important factor for me. While I’m not opposed to moving across the country, if I get into two lower-ranking schools, and one of them is in my state, I’d prefer to stay here. I’m worried it sounds like I haven’t made up my mind... my dream career is the 80/20 split (with the expectation that some compromises might have to be made), but ultimately if push came to shove, I’d choose an MD-only over a PhD-only.
 

931kra

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Jun 26, 2017
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I applied to both types of programs for largely the same reasons you did! My GPA and sGPA were both substantially lower (as was my MCAT!) and there were a couple of in-state options for me that did not have MD/PhD options, so I chose to cover all my bases and apply mostly MD/PhD with some MD-only options. Things worked out for me--I was accepted by both MD and MD/PhD programs this past year, and I'll be heading to a top-ranked MSTP this fall!

I don't think you should think that your scores/grades will limit you anywhere because I really don't think that will be your case. Instead, I would suggest applying to your in-state MD-only options, and then a range of MD/PhD options--I think you're qualified for a top-tier program based on length of research and scores, but obviously you want a larger list than *just* the top-tiers :)

Good luck!
 
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Seihai

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Don't apply MD and MD/PhD to the same school. Otherwise, I think it's fine as long as you determine what your priorities are ahead of time.
 
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Seihai

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Your GPA is fine so I have not heard a valid reason in your case. If I knew you were applying to both and I was an MD/PhD adcom it would be a red flag for me.

I'd have thought that the fact that location is an important factor for him and that the schools matching that location factor don't offer MD-PhD programs would be a good enough reason, though I'd never verbalize that to an adcom while on my cycle.

I don't think the GPA is bad enough to justify not applying MD-PhD somewhere where a program actually exists, but I could see OP applying to MD-only programs that don't have an MD-PhD.
 
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Neuronix

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Location is a luxury for physician scientists. Career comes first in this business. If you get your preference, great. If not, you don't bail out. That's how I feel, but again this is opinion.
 
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Seihai

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Location is a luxury for physician scientists. Career comes first in this business. If you get your preference, great. If not, you don't bail out. That's how I feel, but again this is opinion.

That's a fair assessment - it's unlikely that you'll get first pick in terms of location when it comes to MD-PhD programs (as opposed to MD). It's worse if your preferred location is in-state as the in-state bias is less present for MD-PhD programs.

I would tend to agree since career is my top priority, but I can understand people who might need to stay close to home (for familial or social/personal reasons).
 

Neuronix

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That's a fair assessment - it's unlikely that you'll get first pick in terms of location when it comes to MD-PhD programs (as opposed to MD). It's worse if your preferred location is in-state as the in-state bias is less present for MD-PhD programs.

I would tend to agree since career is my top priority, but I can understand people who might need to stay close to home (for familial or social/personal reasons).

This isn't just a problem for MD/PhD students. As a physician-scientist you're likely going to spend the rest of your life moving around to the best opportunities. It's the nature of this game.
 
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Seihai

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This isn't just a problem for MD/PhD students. As a physician-scientist you're likely going to spend the rest of your life moving around to the best opportunities. It's the nature of this game.

I'll admit that I have heard a good amount about MD-PhD career opportunities (and it played a large role in why I decided to pursue the path), but I'm definitely less knowledgeable about how often people tend to move from institution to institution. Are there any resources on how horizontal/vertical movement tends to happen for MD-PhDs that I should make sure to take a look at?

From where I am, I can see med school and residency being the obvious chokepoints in terms of location/moving around, but are there other obvious ones that occur when starting your career? More along the lines of seeking out positions after residency, getting your first grant, getting promotions (diagonally by going to a different institution), and so on?
 
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