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Med school after PhD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Shyam L. Sunder, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Shyam L. Sunder

    Shyam L. Sunder New Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    Berkeley CA
    Hello all,
    This is a wonderful site, many selfless, sharing people, nice to see that...
    I am a PhD student at UCB in Endocrinology and am aspiring to pursue an MD in Endocrinology. I want to be a practicing endocrinologist. I would like to talk to anyone who has a similar background, i.e. PhD and applying to med school ...
    to see their take on things.
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  3. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    I doubt you will find too many like yourself, but good luck!
  4. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Actually, there are quite a few like yourself who went the PhD route and then decided to pursue medical school. It is definitely feasible... my lab partner here at UCSF did this. I think the experience and publications that result from PhD work can contribute greatly toward your application. You just have to explain why you are interested in medicine, your goals, and how you came to this decision. I wish you luck! :D
  5. A-Phi-A

    A-Phi-A Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    This is the route I am taking. I am presently on the high priority waitlist at Upstate Medical Center which is a good sign that I will be in med school in the fall. I think that grad school helped me a lot in that it gave me the opportunity to boost my GPA, publish and gain some life experiences ( grow up) before applying to med school. And as many can tell you anything that can help your application to stand out of the crowd is a positive thing. You must be ready for the most obvious question you will be asked, which is "Why do you want to go to medical school after having gone the research route?".

    Boog PhD 96' :cool:
  6. Shyam L. Sunder

    Shyam L. Sunder New Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    Berkeley CA
    Thanks all
    Boog, i would love to get in touch with you and talk to u about this sometime, can i email u sometime
  7. Hi Sunder, I am a Ph.D. currently accepted to med school for 2002. I chose this chaotic year to apply and here is my feeling about Ph.D. applying to med schools. Proceed with caution. Avoid the following schools: 1) Columbia, 2) All UC schools, 3) primary-care oriented schools. I was quite surprised to know that a Ph.D. does not at all imply automatic acceptance. I came from a top five Ph.D. institution in this country, and UCB was my aluma mater for undergrad, and the take home point is: your undergrad GPA no longer matters, and journal publication becames a requirement, and you have to do well in your MCAT (30 or above), and you must be lucky in your interview ( it only helps if you are interviewing with a M.D./Ph.D. physician, or a physician who currently is involved in research). I interviewed with a few pure M.D., and they implicitly ridiculed my decision to pursue a M.D., and quite a few of those interviews yielded waiting lists at the end. I have quite a few first author publications, two secondary authorships in Cell and Nature, with a very strong recommendations from my RESEARCH P.I. (this is crucial, if you don't have a letter from your P.I., your application will be very weak). Last but not least, in-depth patient exposure and proficient in one or two aspects of medicine. (I had experiences in the bone marrow transplantation center and ER). Coming from UCBerkeley, which is great school for basic research, students are short-changed in hospital exposure. Your expertise in endocrineology is a big plus, however. Some med schools do not believe that research will make a better physician, and Columbia is one prime example for it. Schools in UCs do not even care about your Ph.D. if you don't have the numbers to survive the computer screening rounds. Don't be discouraged, I simply gave you the facts that I learned from my experience. Do well in MCAT, that is the most important factor.
  8. trout

    trout Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    The great blue ocean
    I don't completely agree with retro...I have a phd and will probably be going to columbia next year (and interviewed the same day 3 other basic science phd 1 from texas who was a faculty member and 1 from a cali school). I do however agree with what retro said about a strong relationship with your mentor and a strong letter of recommendation. I think around a 30 is good enough, but again you need your application to stand out and having a phd is not even enough. I also would recommend having lots of clinical experience, it is much easier to say you want to be an MD if you have the experience to back it up. I would also recommend (if you plan on doing research in the future or not) don't blow it off and say you never want to do research again because they probably will question your dedication and probably ask why the person finished the phd if they don't ever want to do research (other than to get into medical school). I meet probably 7 or 8 other phds interviewing for medical school it is starting to become more common than you think...good luck! You can pm me if you wish!
  9. Quite true. I personally met three other Ph.D.s during my interviews... and one or two interviewers told me they interviewed many more Ph.Ds before me. Our numbers are growing! One interviewer asked me this question: "which one is better: practicing medicine young and be very knowledgable in clinical experience when you are 35, or go through extensive basic trainings and just finished your residency when you are 35." My answer was it depends what you intend to do, that is, if translation research is your aim, then the latter is certainly better, but if the primary care was aimed, then the prior will be better.
    Actually, the interviewer believed that in both cases, it is better to be well trained in the basic science before going into clinical trainings because he said "logical thinking" is probably the most important aspect of being a good physician, and a Ph.D. training warrants a physician with sufficient training in "logical thinking." Of course, nowadays, it is becoming harder and harder to be a medical student fresh out of college, we might as well do other things before applying.
  10. Shyam L. Sunder

    Shyam L. Sunder New Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    Berkeley CA
    Thanks so much guys!!!!
    Retro, I am not discouraged by this at all. I was told by my mentor that u need primary publications and lots of clinical experience to get in. Interestingly, one of the mentors in our lab did his PhD in the 70s and went to UCD for MD and he came back and has been a part of our lab ever since, very valuablepart, and he said the same thing!!!
    However, I what motivates me to be a physician is the fact that knowledge frees people to certain extent. Someone very close to me has breast cancer and is on tamoxifen, when I explained to her what it is really about (her endocrinologist is a real jackass, did not even bother to tell her about the drug and when she (a PhD in aeronautics) managed to educate herself and asked him questions, he just told her to take the pills!!!)
    With my limited knowledge, I made her feel a little better, atleast was able to get her some resources. This is one of many incidences in life that motivates me to be a physician. So why a PhD u ask, well, I thought that a PhD would really sharpen my thinking and knowledge about Endocrinology and man it really has. Intellectually I have gained so much that it is inexplicable. I would NEVER say that my time with this PHD was not worth it. Sure I may say it out of frustration sometimes, but I did learn a LOT,, and overall the experience was relatively enjoyable....
    I know I have to get clinical experience and I will, to really feel what its like to be a physician.
    Thanks so much guys, I really appreciate your time. I will email u guys sometime... I have an AACR poster to practice (UGH!!!)
  11. Shyam L. Sunder

    Shyam L. Sunder New Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    Berkeley CA
    Also, I would like to hear what motivated u guys to go the MD route after the phd...
  12. Pat2k11


    Oct 2, 2011
    Hi Guys,
    This is a great resource for confused souls like me. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I need some guidance, here is my case. I have a 4 years undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from India, an M.Sc. in Clinical Pharmacology from UK and a Ph.D. also in Clinical Pharmacology from UK. So you see I have never gone to school in the US. But My PhD training happened at NIH, Baltimore. I also have 12 publications. I am thinking of applying for the 2013 intake. I wanted to find out if I am eligible for the MD programs and if so which schools should I target. Thanks a lot for your help.

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