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MD/PhD Secondary: Stanford

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2018)' started by Argle Bargle, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Argle Bargle

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    MD/PhD-specific questions:
    1. Describe your most significant research experience. Include the rationale, results, and conclusions, and the role you played in each of these components.Please be very specific, including the dates and amount of time you were engaged. For publications or presentations that resulted or will result from this work, include a complete citation with the names of all authors and the status (e.g., submitted, in preparation).
    Please limit your answer to 2,500 characters including spaces.

    2. Please describe in a short paragraph your educational and family background. e.g., I grew up in New York City, as the 3rd child of a high school principal and homemaker. I attended Mann High School where my major interests were boxing and drama.
    Please limit your answer to 500 characters including spaces.

    3. Describe your reasons for pursuing medical scientist training in relation to your long-term career goals? Why are you applying to a combined degree program rather than graduate or medical school only?
    Please limit your answer to 800 characters including spaces.

    4. Describe your current lab affiliation and the weekly time commitment required. (e.g., I am working in the Griffin lab where I performed research in the summer following junior year for 20 hours per week)
    Please limit your answer to 800 characters including spaces.

    5. Describe any other research experiences you think would be relevant to the MSTP Admissions Committee decision.
    Please limit your answer to 800 characters including spaces.

    6. Describe any patient-related, teaching, and service-oriented activities relevant to the MSTP Admissions Committee decision.
    Please limit your answer to 600 characters including spaces.

    7. Describe any other aspect of your background you think would be relevant to the MSTP Admissions Committee decision.
    Please limit your answer to 800 characters including spaces.


    MD-General Questions
    1. What do you see as the most likely practice scenario for your future medical career? (choose among academic medicine, health policy/administration, primary care, public health)

    2. Why do you feel you are particularly suited for this practice scenario? What knowledge, skills and attitudes have you developed that have prepared you for this career path?
    Please limit your answer to 1,000 characters including spaces.

    3. How will the Stanford curriculum, and specifically the requirement for a scholarly concentration, help your personal career goals?
    Please limit your answer to 1,000 characters including spaces.

    4. If you have peer-reviewed publications resulting from scholarly endeavors, please complete a citation for each of your publications in the space below using the following format: Author, Title, Journal, Volume, Pages, and Date of Publication (e.g., searchable on PubMed).

    Health attitude Survey. Any idea what they're doing with it?
     
  2. ImmunoLove

    2+ Year Member

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    Wow, no one in here, huh? OK so this is beyond super reach, and in fact is a waste of time/money, but I rarely indulge and just went ahead and threw my hat in here as well. Question re "most significant research": Problem is the pubs/pres list is greater than the 2500 character allowed (ok, so it's easy to list the most significant one and provide a link or something).
    The dilemma: the question reads as a "go deep" let's see how you think logically Question. The problem is my that my most significant research experience is rather broad in scope, and is effectively a series of clinical research endeavors in hepatobiliary disease. I can either keep it broad (but it sounds stupid), or I can pick one aspect and develop it and "go deep". Problem is, going deep here isn't nearly as good/interesting/critically stimulating as going deep in my project as an undergrad bench researcher, which, though well-suited to the Q, isn't nearly my most significant research experience. Thoughts?
     
  3. Argle Bargle

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    If I were in your position, I would just contact them. It sounds as though they wrote the question for people who aren't really in your position, and so it seems like it should be fine to ask which information they'd prefer to you. You might even be able to use the MD portion for your publication list, and then discuss one research portion in more detail later.

    Although writing something about your undergraduate experience sounds tempting, I'd probably stick to your more "significant" experience unless it's not obvious that you're not really answering the question. Sounds safer than getting rejected because you didn't want to follow the prompt. Then again, most people get rejected from there anyway, and so it might be worth the risk to try something that will either be great or terrible depending on how they read it, rather than the mediocre that will likely get you rejected.

    A caveat about my own advice: I've already been rejected from Stanford's MSTP program, so I'm not speaking from any successful personal experience.
     
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  4. ImmunoLove

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    Perhaps contacting them is the way to go. I do worry that they'll respond with "uh, we asked for your most significant research experience...", and if I choose even one of the series of projects I worked on, it won't be nearly as compelling as the undergrad stuff. Not to mention, my interest is in immunology (where I did my bench research, and which I continued in the clinical research area too, but again my clinical research in immunology is not the most significant research endeavor). Sigh.

    You're right about considering the risk of writing something deep (though it might not address the Q directly), vs writing something mediocre (the broad significant experience). Honestly, just a quick look at the folks on SDN and it's pretty apparent the competition is stiff and I likely don't stand a chance... ugh.

    I do worry if I use the MD portion to list pubs, then I'll be jeopardizing a possible MD-only admission (and I do fit their criteria for a solid applicant, with a caveat, because life just can't be too straightforward)

    Thanks for the insight. I'll call them and see what they say.
     
  5. MSTPtastic

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    We'll see whether this was successful or not, but I was faced with a similar dilemma. If I focused on one experience (i.e., one job or position), then I simply couldn't reduce the experience to 2500 characters. I called Stanford, and while they were cagey about it, I decided to write about one project of mine instead. That way, they get a sense of how involved you were in your research, and what your thought process was behind your experimental designs. I think, in the end, that's what they're trying to find out.

    The MD/PhD question seems to imply this is what they want, considering how they ask you to get into the fine details of your work. Also, they ask for publications resulting from that work, as opposed to all your publications. So I would list all your publications in the MD part, but only list the publications resulting from one project that you discuss in detail in the MD/PhD essay.
     
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  6. ImmunoLove

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    My most significant research is clinical (pretty much a senior clinical researcher running a little department of research fellows). I did all the stuff, from grantwriting, IRB approval, data collection/statistical analysis, drafted manuscripts (1st author), presented at international conferences. The actual "meat" of it isn't nearly as analytical as my benchwork (e.g. in determining whether Transcription Factor XYZ repressed IFN-B transcription, we did siRNA knockdown and engineered a TF lacking the DNA-binding lucine zipper vs. altering promoter sequence bc the latter would screw up other TFs localized to that promoter... ). The clinical stuff is "did a prospective cohort analysis (which is more robust than case-control etc.) of, say, physiologic and pathologic features implicated in prognosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Used a non-proportional hazards model (vs. cox, bc hazards are not proportional over time in CA, since recurrence less likely to occur immediately after resection/during chemo, way more likely to occur x-y months, and declines if past z months at a rate of A-- Yeah. I'm a nerd. And no, don't ever try and do such a complicated mathematical model. Needless to say, the statistician and I got really close, since I wanted to do this whole thing and would run to him for input instats, and more importantly, for the evil thing called SPSS every 2 days). See, it's just not as robust...

    Thoughts?
     
  7. MSTPtastic

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    Biologists in general aren't statisticians, though that's slowly changing. I'd simplify, simplify, simplify. You want to present your work like you'd present it at a major conference - simplify so that smart people who work adjacent to your field will understand. Focus on what you were directly responsible, your hypothesis, your general analytical approach, and your results. I know that a lot of research doesn't fit that model, but try to shoehorn it it: it makes your project easy to understand.
     
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  8. ImmunoLove

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    Complicate things? Who, me? No! (*blush*). I was mindlessly rattling stuff off earlier, but I do tend to complicate things (and end up spending a fair amount of time simplifying it before anyone even lays eyes on it, lest they see the jumble!). You're right, sir!
     
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