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crock1255

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Hi all,
You can see my previous posts, but long story short, I took a leave from med school last year, started a non-science PhD program at a different school and wanted to know if there was some way to turn it into an MD/PhD. The med school I attended doesn't have the department for my PhD, so I'm not sure what to do on that end. Would I be considered a transfer to my PhD school? Do I reapply to schools? I left halfway through my first semester.

Before people go off on my taking spots, I recognize it and I feel pretty freaking awful about it. Just thought I'd head that one off. I'm also not looking for "are you sure you want to go?" "doesn't sound like you want to be a doctor" etc. Strictly looking for advice on-topic. Sorry if that sounds harsh. There are a lot of trolls out there...
 

plauto

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I am not sure I understand...did you quit med school half way through first year or did you take a leave of absence?
In the first case the answer is easy....you need to reapply. It is going to be very hard to get back in, let alone MD/PhD
If it's the second, you need to talk to your school and see how you can coordinate the PhD. What is the PhD in?
 

HumbleMD

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Hi all,
You can see my previous posts, but long story short, I took a leave from med school last year, started a non-science PhD program at a different school and wanted to know if there was some way to turn it into an MD/PhD. The med school I attended doesn't have the department for my PhD, so I'm not sure what to do on that end. Would I be considered a transfer to my PhD school? Do I reapply to schools? I left halfway through my first semester.

Before people go off on my taking spots, I recognize it and I feel pretty freaking awful about it. Just thought I'd head that one off. I'm also not looking for "are you sure you want to go?" "doesn't sound like you want to be a doctor" etc. Strictly looking for advice on-topic. Sorry if that sounds harsh. There are a lot of trolls out there...

Sounds like you need to talk to your dean, and your med school's MD/PhD dean. You may have to do some grovelling. Most schools want their matriculants to graduate.
 

richse

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Hi all,
You can see my previous posts, but long story short, I took a leave from med school last year, started a non-science PhD program at a different school and wanted to know if there was some way to turn it into an MD/PhD. The med school I attended doesn't have the department for my PhD, so I'm not sure what to do on that end. Would I be considered a transfer to my PhD school? Do I reapply to schools? I left halfway through my first semester.

Before people go off on my taking spots, I recognize it and I feel pretty freaking awful about it. Just thought I'd head that one off. I'm also not looking for "are you sure you want to go?" "doesn't sound like you want to be a doctor" etc. Strictly looking for advice on-topic. Sorry if that sounds harsh. There are a lot of trolls out there...

When you took the leave from med school what did you tell them was the reason? Did they know you were going to start a PhD at another school and were they ok with that? It seems really unlikely they would be alright with you taking a leave to start a PhD, but if somehow they were then it should be pretty easy to just talk to your dean and work out a schedule.

On the other hand, if you didn't get permission to start a degree program at another institution during your leave then I would expect the school to be really angry. You would probably be in violation of at least one policy. I'm guessing the school would move to discipline or dismiss you outright.
 

crock1255

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Thanks for the replies. I am technically on a "leave of absence," and my school did know that I was leaving to pursue another degree at another institution. The PhD is in computational social science.



When you took the leave from med school what did you tell them was the reason? Did they know you were going to start a PhD at another school and were they ok with that? It seems really unlikely they would be alright with you taking a leave to start a PhD, but if somehow they were then it should be pretty easy to just talk to your dean and work out a schedule.

On the other hand, if you didn't get permission to start a degree program at another institution during your leave then I would expect the school to be really angry. You would probably be in violation of at least one policy. I'm guessing the school would move to discipline or dismiss you outright.
 

HumbleMD

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Thanks for the replies. I am technically on a "leave of absence," and my school did know that I was leaving to pursue another degree at another institution. The PhD is in computational social science.

Whoops. What did you tell them you were leaving to go do? Had you told them you wanted to do something in computers and they said no, so you did it anyway, or did you just tell them you needed some time off for whatever?

Most schools want to see their matriculants graduate. Now might be the time to come clean with them. I bet they'd be more supportive than you'd think.
 

crock1255

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Sorry if there was a misunderstanding, my school did know that I was going to a get this type of PhD...

Whoops. What did you tell them you were leaving to go do? Had you told them you wanted to do something in computers and they said no, so you did it anyway, or did you just tell them you needed some time off for whatever?

Most schools want to see their matriculants graduate. Now might be the time to come clean with them. I bet they'd be more supportive than you'd think.
 

HumbleMD

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Sorry if there was a misunderstanding, my school did know that I was going to a get this type of PhD...
So then how did you leave things with them? Did they say you could come back? Are you interested in going back? Do you want to go back to an MD degree, but somewhere else? Do you want to finish this current PhD or not? So many applicable questions you haven't answered...

I guess I don't understand why you're asking the SDN community and not talking with your school. This is a very "you" specific issue that few could give guidance on until you either decide what you want to do, or hit a roadblock pursuing your plan.
 
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crock1255

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Thanks again for the replies. I was given a 5-yr window to return before having to retake my MCATS. I would like to finish my PhD. The few limiting factors are 1) the time frame to finish the PhD and go back, 2) the fact that my med school doesn't have a similar graduate program, 3) my PhD school is higher in the med rankings

As for why I'm asking the SDN community: I contacted my PhD school but haven't heard back, so in the meantime, I figured I'd source it to the crowd and see if anyone had any input...

Thanks again!

So then how did you leave things with them? Did they say you could come back? Are you interested in going back? Do you want to go back to an MD degree, but somewhere else? Do you want to finish this current PhD or not? So many applicable questions you haven't answered...

I guess I don't understand why you're asking the SDN community and not talking with your school. This is a very "you" specific issue that few could give guidance on until you either decide what you want to do, or hit a roadblock pursuing your plan.
 

MrBird

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How could you love studying so much?... How? And don't you think about the loans +gradplus interest you're accumulating while you leave med school?

man..
 

HumbleMD

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Thanks again for the replies. I was given a 5-yr window to return before having to retake my MCATS. I would like to finish my PhD. The few limiting factors are 1) the time frame to finish the PhD and go back, 2) the fact that my med school doesn't have a similar graduate program, 3) my PhD school is higher in the med rankings

As for why I'm asking the SDN community: I contacted my PhD school but haven't heard back, so in the meantime, I figured I'd source it to the crowd and see if anyone had any input...

Thanks again!
Bingo. Looking for a back door, eh? No worries, I completely understand. It's obviously the super busy time for the admissions office at the medical school, so that's probably why you haven't heard back. Did you email the dean of admissions? You could also try the director of their MD/PhD program. Before any of that, you should start by checking out their website to see if they even accept transfers (Penn, for instance, doesn't), or maybe even reveal where this super secret school is so a med student on SDN could give you some insider info?

If I were in your shoes, and a transfer wasn't available, I'd get that darned PhD done in 5 and transfer back, if an MD/PhD is what you truly want to obtain (though paying for med school is a bad deal for you). I'd rather kiss a diabetic's feet than have to reapply to medical school.
 

crock1255

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When I said my PhD school is a higher ranking, I meant it in terms of them accepting me as a transfer. I won't lie and say it wouldn't be sweet to go to said school, but NY MD school was nothing to sneeze at, and yada, yada, yada I'm not looking for a back door on purpose, I just want to avoid reapplying like anything.
As long as it's a U.S. med school, no one cares about its ranking.
 

plauto

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oh yeah, I forgot about this....the way you are doing it, you are probably the only MD/PhD student paying for your degree(s). Also, I am not familiar with computational social science. How is it related to an MD degree?
 
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DreamingTheLive

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OP, I think you're still pretty confused. You're still a foreign policy fanatic, correct? And you don't seem at all interested in anything resembling clinical medicine. Why don't you just get a PhD in whatever foreign policy-relevant field of your choosing and parlay that into your dream job.....sounds much much more likely than this odd path you're trying to put yourself on. If anything, a JD would prove far more beneficial than an MD for said career. Gut check time.
 

ccmonopolies

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Normally, MD/PhDs do two years of MD basic sciences, then do their PhD and then do 2 years of clinical MD stuff.

Your approach would give you a PhD/MD.

I think you'll end up paying for your MD. MD/PhDs don't do their PhDs in non-science fields.
 

HumbleMD

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Normally, MD/PhDs do two years of MD basic sciences, then do their PhD and then do 2 years of clinical MD stuff.

Your approach would give you a PhD/MD.

I think you'll end up paying for your MD. MD/PhDs don't do their PhDs in non-science fields.

Patently false. We have a whole rash of kids doing theirs in economics, anthropology, sociology, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Cross institutional is the difficult issue, because your MD degree and stipend is paid for by a government grant to the institution with the assumption that you'll get the PhD at said institution and publish (and eventually become a researcher blah blah). It's the cross-institution thing that's going to force you to pay for it.
 
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ccmonopolies

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Patently false. We have a whole rash of kids doing theirs in economics, anthropology, sociology, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Cross institutional is the difficult issue, because your MD degree and stipend is paid for by a government grant to the institution with the assumption that you'll get the PhD at said institution and publish (and eventually become a researcher blah blah). It's the cross-institution thing that's going to force you to pay for it.

My mistake then. These PhDs in non-science fields must have some sort of focus towards healthcare, am I right in this regard?

If not, I don't know why the government would also cover one's MD in a MD/PhD.
 

crock1255

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My research and my advisors research I'd say is a cross between biostats/epi and sociology. It's definitely the cross institutional part that I'm considering. If my MD school had a similar department, I think I'd have more options. I guess the only real thing to do is talk to the people in the schools. I was just wondering if people came across similar situations...

Happy to take more advice!
Thanks for all the input so far.

PS. For those who looked at my posts from last year. I'm not the foreign policy buff I thought I was. Just didn't know what I wanted to get out of med school/wasn't ready for it last year...

Patently false. We have a whole rash of kids doing theirs in economics, anthropology, sociology, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Cross institutional is the difficult issue, because your MD degree and stipend is paid for by a government grant to the institution with the assumption that you'll get the PhD at said institution and publish (and eventually become a researcher blah blah). It's the cross-institution thing that's going to force you to pay for it.
 
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