dimebag darrell

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a junior now and I will be applying next year in hopes of matriculating in the fall of 2007. I'm considering applying for MD/PhD programs, but I really can't decide if I want to or not. I am certainly interested in research and will be aiming at the top research schools regardless. Ideally, I would like to practice AND conduct research, but I don't know how common that is, and I also don't know if I could go on to do that with "just" an MD (what do you think?).

Also, how does applying to MD/PhD programs affect MD-only admissions? I.e., if I'm rejected from MD/PhD at a certain school, does that negatively impact my chances at MD only admission? Conversely, if i'm accepted into MD/PhD does that help my chances being accepted for MD only? Does applying to MD/PhD slow down my applications to MD only (and thus hurt my chances there)?

Is it possible (realistically) to gain acceptance into a school's MD/PhD program in the first year of medical school?

Finally, my stats are 37/~3.9 from an ivy with two summers and two semesters of research, but no publications (none so far and none in sight). Do you think I have a solid shot at a top MD/PhD program (considering my lack of publications)?

Thanks in advance for your help - answers to any of these questions would be much appreciated!

Cheers
 

dimebag darrell

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I thought of two more, albeit less important, questions about MD/PhD:

1) Are there additional prerequisites? I mean, for a "normal" student pursuing a PhD in biochemistry, I believe there are certainly more prereqs than the minimal stuff I have completed (typical premed classes).

2) Do MD/PhD students get paid (like regular PhD students do)? I highly doubt they do, seeing as how free medical school is already such a huge bonus (and attraction); I am just curious.
 

Thundrstorm

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There's an MD/PhD forum (and a mod will probably move this thread there for you), but to briefly address your questions:

Think really hard about which degree you want; an MD/PhD is a long process and you should be sure it's what you want. Getting a dual degree is only one way to become a physician scientist; I'm currently interviewing for MD/PhD slots and I've met a lot of MDs who are doing really great research. So, there's also the MD + howard hughes or MD + research fellowship kind of track. There have been several discussions about how important the PhD is; you have to decide for yourself.

Re: MD/PhD afmissions affecting MD admissions, it basically depends on the school, but in general, most schools will consider you for the MD even if you're rejected or waitlisted for the joint program. This may result in putting your MD app in the late applicant pool, but there is generally no official disadvantage. At some places, the MD/PhD committe really decides, and the med school adcom just kinda of gives the nod of approval, at others the grad school and med school decisions are made separately and both have to admit you. Look into each school you apply to for their policies.

Your GPA and MCAT are competitive, and the length of your research is probably about the average amount. The question is how independent were your research activities, and can you talk about them well in essays and interviews, and can you explain why you want a dual degree? Pubs are not necessary... most undergrads don't have them.

Read the FAQ in the MD/PhD / MSTP forum and it will all start to make more sense.

:thumbup:
 
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Thundrstorm

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dimebag darrell said:
I thought of two more, albeit less important, questions about MD/PhD:

1) Are there additional prerequisites? I mean, for a "normal" student pursuing a PhD in biochemistry, I believe there are certainly more prereqs than the minimal stuff I have completed (typical premed classes).

2) Do MD/PhD students get paid (like regular PhD students do)? I highly doubt they do, seeing as how free medical school is already such a huge bonus (and attraction); I am just curious.
1. No, not really, but they expect advanced science courses even from non-science majors.

2. Most places cover tuition plus a stipend in the low to mid 20k range/yr.
 

dimebag darrell

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Thanks for the help! I'm dumb for not posting this in the right forum; hopefully it gets moved. As far as my research goes, both projects that I have worked on have been fairly independent; in both cases, I am the only person working on the project and thus am under direct supervision by my research advisors. It's good to hear you say that publication's aren't critical; I guess being on SDN and reading mdapplicants.com makes it seem like every person who steps foot in a lab during their undergrad magically winds up with a publication..

Thanks again
 

dimebag darrell

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Thundrstorm said:
1. No, not really, but they expect advanced science courses even from non-science majors.
I have that covered, since I'm a bioengineering major; I just wouldn't have specific prereqs covered (like if genetics or something were specifically required).


Thundrstorm said:
2. Most places cover tuition plus a stipend in the low to mid 20k range/yr.
Wow - I did not expect that.

Thanks again for the replies.
 

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