Need advice, nontypical OTA applicant

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New Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2002
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This is a rather complex question, but I would appreciate advice as to how to proceed from anyone that has heard of a similar situation. About 5 years ago I decided that I would strengthen my chances of getting into medical school by getting a M.S. in a basic science program affiliated with my state medical school. However, I had a very successful research project during graduate school and published a number of papers in good journals. Because of this, my PI convinced me that I should finish my Ph.D., which seemed like a good idea at the time. About a year before my anticipated graduation time I applied to my state medical school, interviewed and then found out that because I was enrolled as a graduate student I would have to complete my current training before I could be considered (fall of 2000). Exceptions to this rule had been granted before, however, I was a victim of my own success in that my advisor was a relatively high-ranking member of the selection committee and had no real interest in losing his cash cow. Anyway, progress a year and a half down the road when I graduated with my Ph.D., and in a moment of sheer lunacy, accepted a postdoctoral fellowship instead of re-applying to medical school. My research has progressed exceedingly well and both my current and former PI are encouraging me to pursue a tenure track position. The problem? I still want to get an M.D.

My question is this, have I progressed too far down the road to apply to medical school? I've heard that admissions committees consider Ph.D. applicants to be "washouts" or "burnouts" from research. Are there any medical schools that might prefer a non-standard candidate like myself? I should also mention that although my current and former research advisors would be irritated with me for abandoning basic science, they would support me and provide positive recommendations.

Just as a side note, my credentials are : high 30s MCAT (two years old though), numerous publications/awards, strong teaching background and references, grant history etc., 3.9 graduate GPA, although my undergrad G.P.A was only around 3.5.—I'm also 27 (an old fogey compared to the medical students at my current university).