Lying about educational goals for summer programs? (saying MD only = reject...)

hiphopapotamous

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So I've heard that most of the summer programs heavily disfavor applicants who plan on doing MD only. How unethical is it to say you're leaning towards MD/PhD when you're clearly not? It seems that they pretty much toss out any applicant who says MD is their first choice.

Wouldn't it become a problem when you're at, say, UCSF doing their summer program WHILE applying to their medical school? I'm a junior applying this upcoming cycle, so this might actually become a problem for me. I might end up sticking with the NIH one to avoid this issue.
 

Isoprop

Fascinating, tell me more
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Oct 15, 2007
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You could tell them that you think MSTP is too competitive and you will apply to grad school after getting acceptance into med school.

Is it unethical to lie. Yes. However, it's natural to change your mind about your future educational goals.
 
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hiphopapotamous

hiphopapotamous

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You could tell them that you think MSTP is too competitive and you will apply to grad school after getting acceptance into med school.

Is it unethical to lie. Yes. However, it's natural to change your mind about your future educational goals.
Geniusssnesss
 
Oct 10, 2010
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Tell them you want an MD only..buy also explain in your essay why you feel the research experience will help you as a physician I know plenty of physicians without PhD's that are involved in active research
 

DM3

Oct 26, 2010
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It would be valid and true to say that you're exploring science-related career options.
lolol

Pretty difficult to get more general than that.
 

mystifire

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I am an alumni of 2 summer research fellowships.. one of which was a very competitive program at one of the massachusetts medical schools.

Both times I wrote in my essays that my goal was to get an MD. I did not lie. They do not throw out your application. They do favor those with a PhD goal but they will still look at you. Regardless, you have to address the research aspect of your career. You can be an MD and do research, for instance in a field like academic medicine. Nonetheless, most of these programs are bench-research type and want people who want to pursue that so you will have to bring an open mind and genuine enthusiasm for doing that sort of research and demonstrate it in your statements.

Ultimately, they want you to commit to THE PROGRAM (normally 8-12 weeks long or so) and its purpose. They want you to show TOTAL commitment. So if you are interning in a lab at, say UCSF, through their summer research program; it would untactful of you to also volunteer at the hospital because that does not show commitment (you could use that energy back in the lab). These are RESEARCH programs. Your time should be spent ONLY doing that while at the program. The reason they hesitate to admit pre-MD students to them is because they tend to not grasp this concept.

In my fellowship experiences, the programs actually very intentionally avoided a lot of the "medicine" side of the medical school. We were separated from a lot of what went on in the medical school (MD School) and never really had reason to enter the hospital, medical student labs, medical student areas, etc. The programs are normally in association with the graduate schools of biomedical sciences. Sometimes it even felt a bit taboo to mention you had a goal of getting an MD.

BTW, quite a few other students in my programs had the goal of getting an MD. Many were quite upfront and honest about it. And both times there were a handful of participants actually applying. Instead of socializing with the other participants in the evenings, they were filling out those applications. They also were well aware the program was not flexible for any related commitments to medical school applications (traveling for MCAT class or to take the MCAT or touring med schools in the area).

Just be honest.. it will not harm you as much as you think it will if you can effectively convey how/why research matters in your future career. Remember that not every doctor needs to do research. It is obvious that these summer research programs HELP your premed career but that doesn't mean you need to do them. The fact is that choosing to do a summer research fellowship, despite it taking place at a medical school, makes more sense for the biomedical science hopefuls than the medicine hopefuls. There are plenty of better summer commitments that are more clinically relevant that will look good for med school. Therefore, you simply have more to prove/demonstrate/convince on your statements to be considered for a spot if your career goals are MD.