PhD before MD?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Ubu, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. Ubu

    Ubu Always hungry...

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    Just need advice on what would be a better path to take. I'm currently in a masters program, which I had planned to finish by 2004. I was going to apply for med school next summer for Fall 2004 admission, which would be perfect timing if I get in on my first try. Problem is, I found out that if I do one more year (and a lot more work during that one year), I may be able to come out with a PhD. My MCAT expires if I don't apply next summer, which means that if I decide to go for the PhD, not only do I have to defer applying for another year (which I really don't want to do), but I would also have to take the MCAT again (for the 3rd time!!). On the other hand, if I just decide to go for the masters, apply for med school and end up not getting in, I would be kicking myself for not spending that extra year to get a PhD. A lot of good advice has been given in many other threads, and I thought I'd try asking you guys. Help me please?
     
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  3. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    You could apply and ask to defer the MD entrance for 1 year
     
  4. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    questions

    -what is your mcat score? in your estimation, are you "competitive" right now?

    -are you sure you want medicine as opposed to a phd?

    if your mcat score is good, I think it would be very, very counterproductive to let them expire. take it a THIRD TIME if your scores are good already? ugh......

    maybe apply, get in somewhere, and try to defer that extra year to finish your phd? if medicine is your number priority, thats at least what i would do in this situation.
     
  5. jot

    jot

    think about the cost - its going to be a burden to do an md after doing 4-6 years of phd - earning enough just to live. another 4 years and -240k (max) would put a damper on the quality of life thing ... just something to think about ... but some awesome people have done it - very successful, so weigh your option well.
     
  6. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    Boy Wonder has offered the best advice, so far. Apply to a variety of schools, and then get a deferral. Most schools will let you do this for a good reason. In my opinion, getting a Ph.D. in that year is a great reason. That, of course, assumes that you really want the Ph.D., and that you really can get in within that extra year.
     
  7. Ubu

    Ubu Always hungry...

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    Unfortunately, I am far from competitive. It was the reason I took some post-bacc classes and eventually applied for a masters. My goal in getting the masters was not the PhD, it was to improve my odds of getting into med school, which is what I ultimately want. It is also the reason I am hesitating on finishing with just the masters because I realistically am not sure that I will even get into med school on my first try.

    I have heard about people deferring med school for a year, but isn't that very rare and under extreme circumstances? I wonder if the adcom people would frown upon this knowing that I will not finish my previous degree before entering med school.
     
  8. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Couple questions.. if you only have to work for one more year to get your PhD, what about your qualifying examinations? You really don't sound too enthused about continuing and seem to want to 'do what's best for medical school'. Are you going to want to endure qualifying examinations, writing a dissertation and defending it in order to finish the PhD, while perhaps studying for a third MCAT and applying to medical school? I've known many people who have said, 'Yeah, I can finish up my PhD in another year' and, goshdernit, every time it takes longer. It always does. So what if you haven't finished the PhD and you've deferred? Drop out?

    My advice would be to finish what's on your plate now before moving on to dessert. Apply during the time you plan to finish your Masters. If you don't get in, then start thinking about the PhD, if that's really what you want to do.
     
  9. Ubu

    Ubu Always hungry...

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    Thanks for all the great advice everyone. You brought up some points that I didn't think about -- such as having to do exams and dissertation and possible MCAT and applications in one year. Sounds like a handful! I still don't quite understand the option of deferring medical school. Is that a realistic option?

    I also need to decide soon whether to take the path of masters or PhD since the coursework, paperwork, and all the other stuff that needs to be done for either degree is different. That is, I can't do all the work for a masters, and then turn around and say I want to do the PhD since I will not have done the work required for the PhD. It would be nice, though, to be able to do the work for the masters and then have that apply for the PhD.
     

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