MD/PhD at Washington University

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AmyLynn, Jun 27, 2001.

  1. AmyLynn

    AmyLynn New Member

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    I am extremly interested in the MD/PhD program at Washington University. I was wondering if anyone has any inside info on what they look for in applicants or on the program itself. I have researched it to the point of talking to advisors and getting a ton of info. sent to me, but I am looking for someone who is in the program or knows more about the program that could help me better my chances of getting accepted there.
     
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  3. Seal

    Seal Member

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    Hi Amy,

    Some of us posted a lot of comments on some other threads (Washington University ST. Louis and the additional information about MD/PhD threads). I will be attending Wash U. in August in the MD/PhD program, and as I mentioned on the other thread, I believe Wash U's MSTP in particular focuses HEAVILY on research. I don't think they will even consider your app. unless you have 1-2 years of SOLID research experience with excellent recommendations from you PI(s). You also need to have a good picture of your motivations.

    I think the key to getting into the Wash U. program, again, is getting to the interview stage. Out of perhaps 300 applicants, about 80-90 are interviewed. At that point, you have a very very good chance of getting in (they accept 50 or so). The interview with the MSTP is a committee interview (13 faculty members and you), and that pretty much determines your fate--they will ask you about why you want MD/PhD both, and then grill you on your research experiences. If you get through the MSTP interview, then you're pretty much set, because the MSTP pushes heavily for students such that whoever is accepted in MSTP is pretty much guaranteed acceptance to the medical school.

    I don't know if this info is what you're looking for, Amy. In terms of improving your chances, I'd say do more research if you don't have enough, read more articles and present your research if possible. Other than that... well, keep in mind that the whole application process is rather random. Wash u. is a great school, and I think it's got a good admissions system, but make sure to apply to other schools just in case.

    Best of luck. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
     
  4. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I never really knew much about Wash. U but apparently its one of the best MSTP out there, seeing all the interest it has gained from people here on the board (as well as the President's Medalist from UW :D )

    Seal,

    Did you just go through one interview at Wash. U? Alot of the programs I've looked at seem to have multiple interviews, was that your experience?
     
  5. Seal

    Seal Member

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    You're right, baylor, there are several interviews scheduled for each school. For Wash U., it is one committee interview (MSTP), one medical school interview, and 4-5 (I think) 30-45 min. visits with individual faculty members. For other schools, these faculty visits count heavily, that is, these faculty are also evaluating you and maybe in the MSTP committee themselves. For Wash U., however, my understanding is that only important interview is the committee interview. The faculty visits are for you to be sold on the program and on the research. The faculty can and do fill out a very short report about you, but unless the report is just awful it won't affect you overall. The reason I mentioned one interview is that the committee one is the only one that *really* counts. And committee decisions are almost unanimous.... Kind of frightening, isn't it, that in the 20 min, 13 people judge everything about you and make up their minds on the spot... :rolleyes: then again, this process, IMHO, is a fair way of judging applicants, as every committee member gets to see and hear the applicant in person.
     
  6. doraemon

    doraemon Member

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    Seal,
    Congrads on your acceptance to Wash U MD/PhD. I am interested in applying for MD/PhD programs. I was wondering where else and how many schools you applied to, and if you can comment on the strengths/weaknesses and likes/dislikes of those programs. Thanks for your help.
     
  7. Seal

    Seal Member

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    Whew... that might take me a very long time. When I started the process, I was not very confident about the strength of my application at all. And as a California resident, I didn't have any "safety" state schools to apply to. So I ended up applying to far too many schools--I applied to 25 MD/PhD programs (including programs from the top-20, most of which are MSTP), and 2 additional MD-only programs.

    It would take far too much time to describe which programs I applied to. It is true that the whole process is a crapshoot--you never really know what programs will accept you, so I still contend that it's nice to have safety margin of applying to additional programs. I do want to mention, though, that applying to 25 programs was FAR excessive for me. Not only did I rush through all these applications (all 25 were completed in 2 weeks), what ended up happening was that once I got into my first medical school in mid-October, I withdrew from all but 12 of the programs.

    So basically, I ended up going to 13 interviews. I suppose I can comment on the strengths/weaknesses of these programs, but I think that it is best for you to find out yourself. That is because each program is unique in many ways, and what appeals to one person may not appeal to the other. There are many factors to consider. If you like smaller programs with more individualized attention, for example, or if you would prefer a larger program with more representation in the medical school. If you like the medical school to be associated with the undergrad community. If your field of research is particularly strong at one school. If you prefer one location in the country over the other. If you prefer urban settings or more rural, small-town atmosphere. If you a greater emphasis on learning clinical medicine or research... all these are factors that you yourself must take into account when you are applying to the programs.

    You will notice that there is no official "ranking" of the MD/PhD programs, and that is precisely because each program has a different set of attributes, be it strength of research in one field or the other, or just location and general atmosphere. You have to pick the program that is the best for you. Of course, I mean to apply to a lot of programs that appear like they might suit you. An MD/PhD from any of the top programs or any MSTP/combined degree program will lead you to the same place professionally. So all you need to to do is to wait until the interview and/or revisit to see if the program is good for you personally. You will learn a lot more about the faculty and students during the interview, and hopefully during the interview you can learn for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of the program and whether the program suits you.
     

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