BuckeyeToDoctor

2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2016
16
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi All,

To start I am a noobie to SDN but I have been reading a lot of informational threads! I had a quick question about pursuing a MD/PhD. I have been conducting research at my University with a DSci (Japanese equivalent of PhD) for 2 years now. From this experience I have learned that I enjoy research but could never do it as a career. If I were to pursue a MD/PhD, would I have to lead a clinical research lab or could I be a regular practicing physician with an extra qualification on my lab coat?

Additionally, I am in review to be a second author on a paper headed for a high impact journal (Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Methods.. etc). With a good (but not outstanding) GPA, how much does this boost my application?

Note* I have not taken the MCAT yet but on a half-trying blind attempt I scored a 501 on an online practice exam.

Notable extracurriculars include:
Distinguished undergraduate research awards from my university
Biology teaching assistant
Numerous volunteer/philanthropic endeavors
Peer tutoring
Distinguished honor society
Extensive shadowing in multiple fields
Both parents are physicians? (3rd generation legacy at a school I wish to apply)
Above publication ^
Attendee at high school age leadership conference (during HS) on medicine at Harvard (does this mean anything?)
Held elected positions in my fraternity
**I plan to do clinical volunteering and a big brother program

I know every school treats their applicants differently, but how do these ECs stack up?
 

rilte4

2+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2015
429
654
Status
Medical Student
If I were to pursue a MD/PhD, would I have to lead a clinical research lab or could I be a regular practicing physician with an extra qualification on my lab coat?
I've seen both. MD/PhDs in administrative roles that do no research and ones that are committed to research almost full-time.

Additionally, I am in review to be a second author on a paper headed for a high impact journal (Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Methods.. etc). With a good (but not outstanding) GPA, how much does this boost my application?
If the manuscript actually gets accepted by one of those journals, you'd get the most bang for your buck for it out of the schools with a research-heavy focus i.e. VTech.
 
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BuckeyeToDoctor

2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2016
16
5
Status
Pre-Medical
I've seen both. MD/PhDs in administrative roles that do no research and ones that are committed to research almost full-time.



If the manuscript actually gets accepted by one of those journals, you'd get the most bang for your buck for it out of the schools with a research-heavy focus i.e. VTech.
Thanks for the info!
 

JustAPhD

Not a hummingbird expert
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
3,469
6,932
Ice Coast
You wouldn't be forced into doing research, no. You said you're interested in pursuing a MD/PhD. Do you mean MD/PhD programs or did you mean just MD programs and then you'd have the "PhD" portion as well because of your D.Sci? The latter would be no problem, I've seen numerous doctors with those degrees, but the former might be an issue.
 

eteshoe

.......
2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2016
2,261
2,570
Tethys, Saturn
Status
MD/PhD Student
I wouldn't suggest you go down the dual degree path (8-10 yrs) if you ultimately just want a mostly clinical career. You can do a MD/MS or tack on some research during your residency/fellowship (more efficient for what you mentioned in your OP). While MD/PhDs do end up in various positions from heavy clinical to heavy research to pure administration (due to life stuff), the PhD isn't something to be taken so lightly as to be pursued if you cannot see yourself doing a good deal of research in the future. You'll need that motivation to get through some of the 'dark times' that you'll inevitably encounter but that's just my opinion.

Publications always are helpful (not necessary but icing on the cake), especially if you were a major contributor to the project. Now if you don't mind banging your head against the wall on a project for 4-6 yrs, just for more qualifications and because you want to elevate how you practice medicine and think - then go ahead and do the MD/PhD. Overall, my tone isn't to discourage you from applying, just didn't want to be too laissez-faire about the whole thing.

ECs are fine (once you get your clinical volunteering up). Just make sure your MCAT is decently high.