MD PhD with psych heavy research background (no wet lab research)

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Jun 20, 2018
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Hello, I've been in two psych labs for the past 3 years or so, and I'll be doing 2 post-bacc years in one of them. In graduate school, I would like to study the neural substrates of my current research, which involves externalizing psychopathology (think aggression and addiction). Most of the work done in my lab has been statistics heavy, primarily consisting of analysis of already collected data. I have ~3 posters (one co-author, two first author). one co-author pub, and am potentially looking at a first-author pub during my gap year. I have really enjoyed my research experience thus far, and I think that I can come up with a compelling narrative for why MD/PhD (as I've sort of alluded to, I'm interested in psychiatry and want to study the neurophysiology of psychiatric disorders). However, I've noticed that the vast majority of MD/PhD applicants are involved wet lab research. I'll be graduating this May with degrees in neuroscience and psychology, and although I would like to get my PhD in neuroscience, I unfortunately don't have concrete neuroscience research experience (or any wet lab research experience, as stated above). How much of a problem is this? Would appreciate anyone's input.

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Is your goal to continue doing the type of research that you've done in the past? If so, you're fine, but there may be some programs that "discriminate" against you in favor of wet lab type researchers. (I do computational/imaging/device research and found that some programs are less welcoming towards non wet lab research.)

Or, is your goal to transition to wet lab neuroscience research? If the latter, I think you're fine as long as you can explain your interests / the reason for your transition in your application. In general, I think it's easier to transition from quantitative work -> wet lab than the reverse.
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