MD/PhD Application: Research essay

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New Member
Jul 22, 2010
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Hi All,

I was recently in the process of applying to MD/PhD programs for the Fall 2011, but decided to push back my application date to the following year (for various insignificant reasons). However, while my mind is still in application mode, I thought I would finish the bulk of my 3rd MD/PhD essay (research, 10,000 characters). I guess my problem is how detailed should I be about the science behind my experiments? I have about 7,000 characters on a single project of a single lab experience (it is my most significant and long-lasting experience). Am I going into too much detail? I am following the format laid out by many of you in previous threads: impetus of research, what questions are we trying to answer, hypothesis, my individual contribution. Finally, are any of you current MD/PhD students willing to share sample research essays to see if I'm on the right track?

Many thanks,



Full Member
Jan 5, 2007
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Hi Stemionics,

Your essay should

1. highlight the main points of your research

2. be written in language so that people not in your field can understand

3. be written without going too much into the details of the procedures

E.g., Incorrect: "we constructed mixed models to examine the interaction effect of medication and diagnosis. We found significantly more Compound X in patients with multiple sclerosis who took Med X compared to those who took placebo(F(5, 123) = 4.3, p = 0.0013)"

Correct: "Statistical tests revealed that patients with multiple sclerosis who took Med X had more Compound X than those who took placebo"