PhD applying to MD- would love to hear AMCAS experiences from PhDs in Med school


New Member
Jul 5, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi everyone!

I have a PhD in immunology/ Microbiology (graduated 2019) December and am currently a post doc in a clinical lab. I’m applying this cycle for matriculation in 2021. I have been pre-med since I was a freshman in college. I’m 26 about to be 27.

on my actual application I included my entire undergrad and grad (2011-2019) here’s the background

GPA: 3.77 BCPM undergrad and 3.7 grad gpa MCAT: covid cancellation tbd (July 23) Research hours: 10000 hrs+ Leadership experiences: 400 hours Medical paid work: 600 hours Medical volunteering: 250 hours Shadowing: 170 hours Non medical volunteering: 300+ hours Publications: 4 peer review publications (1 first author), 2 submitted publication (1 first author) Science merit Research Awards: international, national and local

I was wondering if anyone who had a PhD prior to applying could share their experience during the application process. I haven’t been able to find many ppl with a PhD prior to med school (I know this route is uncommon). I would appreciate it a lot!

1) how many schools did you apply to/get secondaries/interviews acceptances?

2) what was your GPA/ MCAT

3) any additional advice during this process?

No discouragements please.


Alta California
Staff member
Volunteer Staff
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
  1. Attending Physician
1. This will depend on several factors not mentioned here (MCAT, state of residence, insight as shown in the quality of your essays...).
2. This is just a starting point.
3. A PhD is a great accomplishment. It has relatively little to do with success in an application to medical school.
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APA 32

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2015
  1. Medical Student
Good luck to you. I was a PhD in biochemistry before medical school. My advice would be to do really well on the MCAT. Most schools didn't care about my Ph.D. just my MCAT which wasn't great due to working and having a family. Have a good explanation for why you want to transition from research to clinical medicine. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions. I'm currently in my 2nd year of residency
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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2009
  1. Attending Physician
I got a PhD before I applied (or as one resident I worked with during med school called it "PhDumb" lol).

I didn't find that the med school application process was too difficult. I applied to 12 schools I think. I got waitlisted a lot though. I didn't have any (yes, zero) shadowing or clinical work. That may have had something to do with it. In hindsight, I'm actually surprised I got in anywhere...I was so clueless on that front (clinical work).

GPA: 3.88 overall, 3.89 Science- dual major art and biology
MCAT 37 (519/520 equivalent)
PhD in molecular genetics/developmental biology

What I remember:
Michigan: waitlist then rejection
Cornell: rejection after interview
U of Maryland: don't remember, but not outright acceptance after interview
UPenn: don't remember, but not outright acceptance after interview
GW: waitlist after interview
U of Chicago: invited for interview, but declined
UVA: acceptance
Never heard back from Thomas Jefferson after my app
Hopkins: no invite for interview

I was out of state for all of those. I guess it's obvious where I went for med school.

If I applied today:

Much more shadowing and volunteer work
Apply to at least twice as many schools
Apply to more lower tier schools

I found that the PhD before med school hurt me a little more during the residency application process, but that's a different story. I still ended up in the field I wanted to get into.
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