Looking to Apply MD/PhD This Year--Need Advice on School List

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Apr 19, 2021
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi all,
I am looking to reapply to MD/PhD programs after an unsuccessful MD cycle this past year. I applied to 21 schools this past year and received two interviews, and was ultimately rejected from both post-II. I have recently started looking into MD/PhD programs and have realized that these programs are a much better fit for my career goals and interests, as well as my experiences. However, I am not sure exactly what schools to apply to as MSAR seems to be catered more towards regular MD applicants. Thanks in advance for any help on this!

Stats:
cGPA: 3.77 sGPA 3.85 MCAT 517

Research:
3 Years Undergrad, 3 Years post grad; 3 publications (one is first author), second author on 2 presentations at a national conference (all basic science)

Clinical:
assisted living facility (125 hours), hospital CCU (25 hours) - both volunteer, 20 hours shadowing

Non Clinical volunteering:
20 hours food pantry

Also a varsity athlete in college at the d1 level
 

VaultArmitage

import pandas as pd
Feb 5, 2020
50
31
The Great Midwest Mountains
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Were you able to get any feedback on why you were rejected? Your volunteering seems a bit low but I would imagine being a D1 athlete would make up for it...
You're going to have to address why you suddenly switched from MD to MD/PhD in your essays and really make sure it's clear you want to take the path you want to take.
Personally I would take a gap year to get things figured out and beef up my application a bit. Try to figure out why you didn't have success this cycle, improve your app then try again next cycle. MD/PhD applications are just as (if not more) competitive than MD applications.
 
Apr 19, 2021
8
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Were you able to get any feedback on why you were rejected? Your volunteering seems a bit low but I would imagine being a D1 athlete would make up for it...
You're going to have to address why you suddenly switched from MD to MD/PhD in your essays and really make sure it's clear you want to take the path you want to take.
Personally I would take a gap year to get things figured out and beef up my application a bit. Try to figure out why you didn't have success this cycle, improve your app then try again next cycle. MD/PhD applications are just as (if not more) competitive than MD applications.
Thank you for the response! The feedback I got seemed to indicate that the issue was that I was light on clinical hours and volunteer hours. I honestly didn't really know much about MD/PhD programs before I applied last year because nobody from my school really applies to them, or I probably would have applied for that last year. Working with one in the lab this past year has definitely opened my eyes to that path and how well the MD and PhD tracks complement one another.

One concern I have about waiting another year is my MCAT is set to expire after this cycle... would that change the calculus at all from your perspectives? I know MD/PhD is extremely competitive but I do think its a good fit for me.
 
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VaultArmitage

import pandas as pd
Feb 5, 2020
50
31
The Great Midwest Mountains
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hmmm that does change things a bit as no one wants to retake the MCAT. Honestly you have the research hours and productivity that most programs want to see. Is there anyway you can get involved in volunteering before apps open in June? For instance I'm also a D1 athlete at my school (which is why I was concerned you didn't get more love!) and we have a student athlete council that organizes charity events that allow athletes to get involved fairly easily in various volunteering projects.

Also something that needs to be considered is that you're going to need new letters of recommendation that speak mainly to your ability as a researcher. Doing an MD/PhD is committing to a research career and you'll need letters that speak to that instead of your ability as a future physician. If you're committing to applying this cycle you need to get on that ASAP.
 

ValentinNarcisse

7+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2014
258
171
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Hi all,
I am looking to reapply to MD/PhD programs after an unsuccessful MD cycle this past year. I applied to 21 schools this past year and received two interviews, and was ultimately rejected from both post-II. I have recently started looking into MD/PhD programs and have realized that these programs are a much better fit for my career goals and interests, as well as my experiences. However, I am not sure exactly what schools to apply to as MSAR seems to be catered more towards regular MD applicants. Thanks in advance for any help on this!

Stats:
cGPA: 3.77 sGPA 3.85 MCAT 517

Research:
3 Years Undergrad, 3 Years post grad; 3 publications (one is first author), second author on 2 presentations at a national conference (all basic science)

Clinical:
assisted living facility (125 hours), hospital CCU (25 hours) - both volunteer, 20 hours shadowing

Non Clinical volunteering:
20 hours food pantry

Also a varsity athlete in college at the d1 level
I am perplexed why you did not garner more interest and multiple acceptances with your impressive application. I would have an independent person look at your application to make sure there were no red flags. Did you apply late perhaps? Send wrong essays to wrong schools? Did your college committee letter have something written that was for a different applicant?
 
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Apr 19, 2021
8
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hmmm that does change things a bit as no one wants to retake the MCAT. Honestly you have the research hours and productivity that most programs want to see. Is there anyway you can get involved in volunteering before apps open in June? For instance I'm also a D1 athlete at my school (which is why I was concerned you didn't get more love!) and we have a student athlete council that organizes charity events that allow athletes to get involved fairly easily in various volunteering projects.

Also something that needs to be considered is that you're going to need new letters of recommendation that speak mainly to your ability as a researcher. Doing an MD/PhD is committing to a research career and you'll need letters that speak to that instead of your ability as a future physician. If you're committing to applying this cycle you need to get on that ASAP.
Yes! The food pantry volunteer work is ongoing and I plan on continuing that during the application cycle, as well as going back to the assisted living facility (once they lift the covid volunteer restriction). My PI is working on a new letter of rec for me right now, which I think will be pretty good!
 
Apr 19, 2021
8
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I am perplexed why you did not garner more interest and multiple acceptances with your impressive application. I would have an independent person look at your application to make sure there were no red flags. Did you apply late perhaps? Send wrong essays to wrong schools? Did your college committee letter have something written that was for a different applicant?
I will definitely do that! I was rather early in submitting my primaries and secondaries, so I'm honestly not sure if there were any red flags that I don't know about. Potentially could have been an issue with some of my writing, or even just bad luck because there was such a large increase in applications to a lot of my schools last year.
 
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