More MD-PhD stuff

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Bharat, Jun 24, 2001.

  1. Bharat

    Bharat Junior Member

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    Now that I have sufficiently made people angry at me, I have to apologize. I didn't mean to provoke any anger here, especially with regard to subjects as sensitive as MCAT scores and gpas. But I was looking for some advice, so here goes:

    What, in general, do MD-PhD programs look for? Is it ONLY numbers and research experience/recs? Or, should I try to highlight the all around nature (not just research stuff)? Thanks! And, if you could, let us know if you are a current MD-PhD or applicant! Thanks!
     
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  4. Seal

    Seal Member

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    Bharat, you might like to do a search and read some of the advice posted before. A lot of people, applicants and current students alike, gave a lot of helpful advice regarding the application process.

    To briefly answer your questions: MD/PhD programs tend to focus most heavily on research experience. They will look at the length of research (duration--usually they require 1-2 years), quality (i.e. was it 5 hours/week or fulltime) and your comprehension of it. Numbers are important mainly to get you through the door to the interview. I would say a ballpark of 3.5 GPA and 33 MCAT would definitely get your through the door, although if you have excellent research these numbers can be waived.

    As for other activities, it can't hurt to put them down. Why not emphasize that you are a well-rounded person who has a passion for medicine as well as a dedication to pursue medical research? I actually have more extracurricular activities and leadership experiences than I had of research, and I strongly emphasized these even in my MD/PhD applications. During my interviews, I ended up getting a lot of quesions on these "other" experiences, and I think it really helped me stand out as an applicant. Do make sure you know your research VERY well though. Practice by asking yourself research questions, or give some informal prentations to your friends/labmates/professors.

    Anyway, try checking out the previous messages. If you have any other questions, though, feel free to ask. I am one week from starting my MD/PhD program!

    Seal
     
  5. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Hey Seal,
    Are you doing a lab rotation over the summer? I am starting next week for my first rotation. It's a little weird after being in the same lab for so long. I'm excited though because it will be a new experience. Good luck! :)

    To the OP:
    What Seal said rings very true. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that simply being a lab-machine will cut it. It is really good to show that you have a life outside of science through participation in a variety of extracurricular activities. For example, I did fencing for a couple of years and had a minor in a non-science area. You bring more to the table as an applicant who can relate to others and express a more diversified perspective. That being said, you should definitely know your research inside and out, as well as have practiced communicating it to others. You have to show that you are passionate about science and medicine, and that you are capable of achieving the right balance with your personal life. :cool:
     
  6. Seal

    Seal Member

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    Good luck to you too, Vader!! Have you already moved to San Francisco and found a place to live, etc.?

    Yes, I decided to cut my summer vacation short (very short, as I just graduated last week) and head to the banks of the muddy Mississippi early. I wasn't even sure if I should do this rotation, since it's only going to do a 5-6 weeks. Plus, I'll be leaving behind sunny L.A. beaches and all its amenities to head for hot, humid St. Louis...

    Like you, though, I am very very excited about the experience. I mean, leaving and going to medical school is really the goal (although there are still so many more ahead) that we worked so hard to obtain these past years. Now the goal is not only within reach but speeding towards us.... I feel like I've been working in a lab forever too, but right now I can't wait to meet my future classmates, and to start looking around my new city!
     
  7. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Yep, just found a nice place and I did it in a very short period of time too. I guess the housing market in S.F. has gotten slightly better recently due to the dot-com dropout, but it is still more or less a sellers market. It's quite a relief to have a place, although I really need to get packed up because I'll be moving so soon. I too will be leaving the wonderful sunny L.A. weather, but at least it isn't quite as harsh as the notorious weather of the midwest. ;) In which area will you be doing research at WashU? I'll be doing neuro.

    I know what you mean about heading towards our goals... it is hard to believe that after so much time and effort we are finally beginning. Good luck in St. Louis and if you're ever out for a visit in S.F. be sure to look me up.
     
  8. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.

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    Bharat. I'm wondering how you pull off such high marks/test scores. I just want to learn different ways of approaching tests/exams. Your system seems very effective. What is the method in which you approach a test? Type of thinking on tests and so on. (Pretend you've just got a test on a chapter, what steps do you follow studying all the way up to the end of the test.)

    Thanks. :)

    P.S. I'm assuming you are the real deal when you talk about your high gpa and MCAT scores. :D
     
  9. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.

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    P.P.S.
    Sorry for going off topic. :eek: In your response Bharat, you may create a new topic. Thanks.
     
  10. Bharat

    Bharat Junior Member

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    Jon Davis--

    With regard to grades in school, I think being able to deconstruct what are the important points in each section (lets say "equilibrium" in a chemistry class; the important points would be "shifting equilibrium, constants, Kp vs Kc, solving general equilibrium problems") and preparing a sheet before each exam that concisely details what you have to know is very helpful. As far as humanities classes are concerned, to each his own.... :)

    In regard to MCAT, you really just need to get lucky. For example, I thought I would do better in BS and worse in PS and better in VR, but it turns out that everything balanced. It's really a good idea to study for understanding. TPR hyperlearning is really good review, though a little large. :) I would say, just concentrate on learning the sciences during pre-med years, and you will be fine (30+) on the MCAT.

    Have fun and good luck!
     

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