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MD/PhD vs MD question

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by mdiop, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. mdiop

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    I was wondering if I were to apply for MD/PhD would I at all be considered for admissions for the MD program, like if I don't get in will I be able to still have a chance to get into the MD program.
    I also was wondering which is harder to get into :MD program or MD/PhD program because I imagine fewer people wanting to obtain the MD/PhD
    Thank you very much for your feedback and happy new years!
     
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  3. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    From what I understand, it works like most combined programs - you get accepted to both. I do not know how it works if you do not get into one or the other though.

    A lot of your application will be spent on your reason for being a MD/PhD and so I think if you dont get into the combined program, they would just say try again or sorry...

    from what it sounds like, do not go in with the impression that MD/PhD is somehow easier or an additional pathway to getting two shots at med school. If that were true, a lot more peeps would have gotten into med school that way.
     
  4. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    For MD/PhD you need to be accepted to both the MD program and PhD program. Some schools have a MD/PhD committee, but still the decision must be approved by the medical school.

    Whether or not you are considered again as an MD applicant after rejection from the MD/PhD program depends on the particular institution as that varies.

    As for which one is harder to get into, of course less people are accepted to MD/PhD, however less people apply as well so it winds up being roughly the same acceptance percentage, maybe a little lower. I would NOT advise you to apply to MD/PhD as a way to get accepted to medical school, then dropping the PhD portion. If you are just interested in MD, just apply for the MD route.
     
  5. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    If you can imagine yourself being a doctoral student in laboratory science (or in epidemiology at some schools), and you have considerable experience in research at the undergraduate level (funding, presentations, a publication) then you might have a shot at an MD/PhD program.

    In addition, you must have what the medical school looks for in an applicant, particularly some sort of clinical exposure. Some proof that you are humanistic and can relate well to others is also essential (no misanthropic introverts, please).

    I think that the odds of being admitted to an MD/PhD are about the same as being admitted to an MD program, IF you have the required research background. If you don't have several years of research experience, including at least 2 summers, and a sterling LOR from your PI, then you don't have a prayer. (If you do not know what a PI is, please do not even entertain the idea of applying MD/PhD).
     
  6. NiCad089

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    At most schools you have the option of requesting MD only admissions after being rejected MD/PhD. The admissions process depends on the school. At some, the MD committee reviews your application and then gives it to the MD/PhD comm. At others its the other way around. At some schools the two processes run simultaneously.
     
  7. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    While you do need considerable (2+ years of part-time is my rule of thumb) experience, this can be attested to through LORs, personal statements, and interviews. While they can help, none of funding, presentations, or publications are required, and this includes for top MSTPs.

    I hope you won't take offense to my interjection--I am just constantly contradicting the idea that some undergrads and advisors have that publications are "required" for MD/PhD.

    Odds-wise they are similar, it is true. However, fully-funded MD/PhD matriculants have on average higher GPAs and MCATs than their MD counterparts in addition to the required research.

    This is the best statement that can be made on the subject. Some schools do not consider you at all for MD after MD/PhD rejection. At others it is very rare. At others it is quite common. At some you will be considered MD and MD/PhD independently and then you have your choice between the two.
     
  8. GliaGirl

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    I agree. After reading through these forums before applying, I was scared pantsless that I wasn't going to get in, because I don't have any publications. But I already have more than one acceptance, even without a publication. I don't really see how publishing can do anything but help you get in, but it is by no means necessary.
     
  9. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    Same issue. My undergrad advisor told me I wouldn't get in without one. I got into 7/14 schools applied to, 0 publications, 0 presentations. But, the publication thing is a comment sentiment you hear on the forums. It's something people constantly worry about, and it gets to the point where qualified people don't apply because they don't think they'll get in because they don't have abstracts and publications.

    In first year I asked around to my classmates on this topic, and half of my class at big name MD/PhD program didn't have a publication coming in. I also constantly wonder at the value of these 3rd or lower authored publications undergrads have that allow them to say "I have published" when in reality they contributed little. That's more about being in the right place at the right time and everyone knows it.

    So this is just a sore subject for some of us for these reasons...
     
  10. tiamat360

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    To be honest, I think that during undergrad even getting published as a 1st or 2nd author has a lot more to do with luck than with research prowess. Maybe you got excellent data the first time you ran your experiments, or you had an adviser that really pushed for you to get a paper out (or probably both :p). Not that your skill as a researcher has nothing to do with it, but the amount of time even the most skilled researchers have to devote to their work is not really available to undergrads, so you sort of just have to luck out.

    My not-yet-accepted-anywhere-so-what-do-I-know $.02 :D.
     
  11. SDN2013

    SDN2013 Athens
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    LizzyM: PI = 3.14159265 ?

    I considered doing MD PHD for a while but decided I didn't have a publication, and that 3 PI's that I know are all MD's.

    And OP: Many secondary applications allow you to make a check mark next to "I wish to be considered for the M.D. program in addition to the MD. PhD program"
     
  12. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    I've seen my share of applicants from financially insecure households who apply to MSTP programs because they find the free tuition plus living expenses to be attractive. Some of them have <4 mos of part-time effort in a lab, often doing little more than housekeeping, and merely average gpa and MCAT for regular MD program (the typical 3.5/30). I always feel badly that they've wasted their hard-earned money on the application fee.

    A publication may not be required, but every time the regular adcom has a joint meeting with the MD/PhD program, the director will hold up a top pick as deserving the designation because of one or more publications. Publicatoins just improve your odds. It is like telling a pregnant smoker, "my mom smoked and I turned out fine... don't worry about what it is doing to your baby." You might get admitted without a publication but the odds of getting admitted are better if you have one.
     
  13. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    That part is sad. Give them my admissions guide if they'll listen:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=539268

    The free tuition and stipend is attractive. I can freely admit now the money was a factor for me, as I was from a poor background. But that's only one of several key reasons you should have to apply MD/PhD to survive the hell that is grad school.

    I don't like that analogy to the current situation. It implies one is doing something harmful that they need to stop.

    I'd use this anology instead. I got rich because I hit the lottery! If you want to get rich, you should play the lottery too. I've seen undergrads walk into a lab and 2 weeks have their name on a submitted publication. That's hitting the publication lottery.

    If you want to get rich or get a publication, the more likely way is to focus on hard work and setting yourself up in the right circumstances. Undergrads are not in a position to get publications. You should try, but it's lab, project, and advisor dependent. It still may not happen, and it's completely out of the undergrad's hands. That's ok, is life all about getting rich? No. Is MD/PhD admissions all about getting a publication? It's certainly not. It's about GPA, MCAT, and time served in research. A publication is just icing.
     
    #12 Neuronix, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  14. wandernkind

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    What is your GPA?
     
  15. Jorje286

    Jorje286 Member
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    On the publication question, I think what the adcoms are looking for is evidence of liking the research process (while experiencing all the bumps on the way) and evidence of critical and original thinking. A first author publication would go a great deal in support of that, but is by no means critical or necessary. What is critical is a letter of recommendation by a respected PI that attests to the applicant's abilities and how the applicant reports his research and answers questions about it.
     
    #14 Jorje286, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  16. GliaGirl

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    My GPA is 3.65... or at least it was until I took this whole semester to go to interviews and screwed it up. Now it's more like a 3.55, but hopefully I'll get it back up after my last semester.
     

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