md/phd personal statements (for amcas)

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by jot, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. jot

    jot

    you guys have alluded to threads regarding md/phd personal statements, but i can't find them. my question is essentially as follows: how much can one indicate that their intent to pursue md/phd on the personal statement? i will be applying to all md/phd programs (no med only). i realize that the personal statement is essentially for medical school, and supplmentals etc address ones research, but would it be prudent to emphasize ones strong interest in science? i'm not quite sure if that was coherent ... nevertheless, can those with application experience speak to this issue?
     
  2. none

    none 1K Member
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    This is very tricky! I recommend you not mention your interest in the dual degree program whatsoever. You can and certainly should mention both a previous and future interest in research, but it might be best not to make them a focus. The goal here is to keep your MD only options open while still trying to get into an MD/PhD program. You can almost always start a PhD later on, but getting in an MD program...definitely no guarantees there!
     
  3. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member
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    I wouldn't neccessarily mention the dual degree, but since your past focus has probably been on research I would definitely talk about that. You could mention that you are interested in academic medicine if that's what you want as well. It's kind of a tricky subject. I said something about wanting to combine my love for medicine with my interest in research, and I don't think that hurt me at all, as I got into a couple places MD only. I was also told by an MSTP adcom member that she didn't like it when the personal statement made no mention of research, because if it's important enough to the applicant to dedicate their life to it then it should at least be mentioned in the statement.

    I hope that helps.

    Good luck,

    Adam
     
  4. vmn2

    vmn2 Member
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    i have to also respectfully disagree with none...my amcas essay was entirely based on the fact that i wanted to pursue both the md and phd degrees, and that a career in academic medicine was my ultimate goal. as rumit said, i think that if research has been a big part of your undergraduate experience and if it is something you want to continue to pursue, then you should talk about why it is important to you and how research will fit in to your future goals. i also got into a couple of md programs only, and several mstp programs so doing this does not blackball you from getting in md-only (if you're applying all md/phd). if you gear your essay towards md programs, then you risk getting turned down by the md/phd programs because they will question your dedication to research. you shouldn't try to tailor your application to md programs if you truly want to do md/phd because they'll see right through it, and your md/phd app will be much weaker.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by none:
    <strong>This is very tricky! I recommend you not mention your interest in the dual degree program whatsoever. You can and certainly should mention both a previous and future interest in research, but it might be best not to make them a focus. The goal here is to keep your MD only options open while still trying to get into an MD/PhD program. You can almost always start a PhD later on, but getting in an MD program...definitely no guarantees there!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  5. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    I absolutely agree with vmn2. I definitely mentioned in my personal statement that I'm heading for the MD/PhD track. Last year we wrote an additional essay called the vision essay in which I also explicitly stated that I'll be doing MD/PhD. The way I viewed it was that if I get turned down MD-only, then I don't want to go there anyway :D . It turned out that I got MD-only invites to several Top 10 schools all of which I declined. So I say, know what you want and go all out. If you get a rejection as a result, send them the following letter:

    Dear SOM,

    F' you too.

    Sincerely,
    Me.

    :D
     
  6. MeGrowTall

    MeGrowTall Member
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    Now that the MCAT dust has settled and I have a little breather before finals, I have started to think about my personal statement. I am going to apply MD/PhD only, and it never occured to me to try to gear my personal statement towards something else. I volunteer at a free medical clinic, and I have loved every minute of it, so I will of course mention that. However, my focus is definitely going to be more about my desire for a career as an academic physician.
     
  7. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member
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    MeGrowTall:

    Do you go to the University of Iowa? They have an awsome MD/PhD program. I was "that close" to going there. Pam Geyer, the head of the program, is totally awsome. I had a really good time at the interview :)

    Anyhow, good luck with your application.

    Adam
     
  8. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    Geyer's truely amazing. She's one of the few female MSTP directors in the country. Hopefully in the near future we'll see more females in charge of such programs.
     
  9. MeGrowTall

    MeGrowTall Member
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    I work in a fly lab here at the U of Iowa (Wayne Johnson's lab). Since Pam is the head of another fly lab here on campus, I have had a chance to interact with her on occasion. She is a very talented and intelligent researcher.
    My lab has this Christmas party tradition where we go caroling to the houses of the other fly PIs. She welcomed us one year with hot chocolate. Her husband is a cardiologist and they have this HUGE house.
    I have been very impressed with the MSTP program here, but I have spent 5 years in Iowa City, and I am ready to go somewhere else. I will go here if it is the only place I am accepted, but it's not my top choice only because of the location.
     
  10. jot

    jot

    thanks guys ... i was dead set on making it an "mstp" personal statement, but i had overwhelming comments stating that i should make it almost entirely med focused. i'm sure there is not any particular precipice of accepatbility, but i think i will make sure that the med part stands out a little bit in the personal statement. i guess i should just ask the mstp director here at this school; couldn't hurt (not applying here).
     
  11. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    They're not mutually exclusive. You can lay strong emphasis on both your research(MD/PhD goals); and your humanitarian involvement & compassion.
     
  12. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
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    i mentioned md/phd in my personal statement, even though i only applied to one school md/phd. i got interviewed MD too, so it wont hurt you, at least it didnt hurt me.
     
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