May 12, 2013
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I am undergraduate electrical engineering major with an interest to join MD/PHD programs and join a biomedical engineering lab. I have so far been serious about and been working towards my goal ( doing undergraduate research in some of the most competitive summer programs and with my professors, shadowing and doing a volunteer work at a hospital.

Currently I am having second thoughts mainly because I am an international student and have a very low chance to be accepted in to medical schools. I am really interested in becoming a physician-scientist but I am concerned since I am putting all my energy towards preparing for MD/PHD programs and not sure if that is a good thing given that chances are very low for me.

I have been discouraged by people from some MD/PHD programs although I have some friends, internationals like me, who got in to such programs

People are suggesting I should first join a PHD program and go to medical school afterwards.
 

mynameistoolong

7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2010
261
174
Cowboy Land
Status
MD/PhD Student
Hey, I'm international too and currently in the application cycle. It certainly is difficult, but if you can have amazing numbers (3.7+/37+) and good ECs (do research early and often, as people here say) it's by no means impossible. You will have to apply broadly and adjust your expectations. The MSTPs will be hard; I have 6 IIs currently and only 2 MSTPs, despite also having 2 MD-only invites from top 10 schools.

By the way, IMO 'competitive' summer programs don't really give you that much benefit, really—just stay in your campus lab and do research for longer in the same lab so you can be more productive.

I obviously have no experience doing PhD to MD, but you will be pretty old by the time you get your first job if you go that route. And it doesn't avoid the problem of having to be accepted to MD programs as an international either (unless you get married to a US citizen along the way)—statistically harder than MD/PhD when you look outside the US News top 20 schools.

I am really interested in becoming a physician-scientist but I am concerned since I am putting all my energy towards preparing for MD/PHD programs and not sure if that is a good thing given that chances are very low for me.
Putting all your energy towards preparing for MD/PhD programs also prepares you for MD-only or PhD-only routes, so whichever route you take you should probably still be doing the same thing.
 
OP
E
May 12, 2013
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey, I'm international too and currently in the application cycle. It certainly is difficult, but if you can have amazing numbers (3.7+/37+) and good ECs (do research early and often, as people here say) it's by no means impossible. You will have to apply broadly and adjust your expectations. The MSTPs will be hard; I have 6 IIs currently and only 2 MSTPs, despite also having 2 MD-only invites from top 10 schools.

By the way, IMO 'competitive' summer programs don't really give you that much benefit, really—just stay in your campus lab and do research for longer in the same lab so you can be more productive.

I obviously have no experience doing PhD to MD, but you will be pretty old by the time you get your first job if you go that route. And it doesn't avoid the problem of having to be accepted to MD programs as an international either (unless you get married to a US citizen along the way)—statistically harder than MD/PhD when you look outside the US News top 20 schools.



Putting all your energy towards preparing for MD/PhD programs also prepares you for MD-only or PhD-only routes, so whichever route you take you should probably still be doing the same thing.

Thank you. At this point, I believe the numbers dont seem to be a problem as I have a perfect GPA and been preparing for the MCAT for the past year. I have one more year before I take the MCAT.

Do you have info about the schools that consider internationals?
 

mynameistoolong

7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2010
261
174
Cowboy Land
Status
MD/PhD Student
You don't need to prepare that long in advance for the MCAT, you'll just forget the material you learn earlier anyways. 3-4 months is as long as you want to go.

As for the schools that consider internationals, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~nss/nav/pages/school/MDPHDprograms.pdf* is the quickest resource, but it's not 100% accurate. For example, Mayo is listed as 'Yes' but it's actually Canadians-only this year. For best info, check individual schools' websites. Also get the MSAR for actual numbers of internationals getting into MD-PhD—some schools say 'Yes' but it's actually lip service and they haven't accepted any for years. I would advise still applying to these 'lip service' schools—who knows what may happen—just don't feel too bummed if they reject you within a week of being complete despite your outstanding credentials.

*For people potentially viewing this thread 5 years from now, the link probably will be broken. To help you google it, the document is titled 'MD-PhD program policies', and the data is (verbatim from the document) "compiled from a survey of institutions conducted by the MD-PhD Section Communications Committee of the AAMC GREAT Group conducted in 2012".
 
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OP
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May 12, 2013
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
You don't need to prepare that long in advance for the MCAT, you'll just forget the material you learn earlier anyways. 3-4 months is as long as you want to go.

As for the schools that consider internationals, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~nss/nav/pages/school/MDPHDprograms.pdf* is the quickest resource, but it's not 100% accurate. For example, Mayo is listed as 'Yes' but it's actually Canadians-only this year. For best info, check individual schools' websites. Also get the MSAR for actual numbers of internationals getting into MD-PhD—some schools say 'Yes' but it's actually lip service and they haven't accepted any for years. I would advise still applying to these 'lip service' schools—who knows what may happen—just don't feel too bummed if they reject you within a week of being complete despite your outstanding credentials.

*For people potentially viewing this thread 5 years from now, the link probably will be broken. To help you google it, the document is titled 'MD-PhD program policies', and the data is (verbatim from the document) "compiled from a survey of institutions conducted by the MD-PhD Section Communications Committee of the AAMC GREAT Group conducted in 2012".
Yes, I actually talked to Mayo last year and they told me they have changed their policy( asked me if I am a Canadian resident). It says 'Yes' for BCM however some one from the program actually advised me to consider doing PHD. I almost got in to their summer program last year however after they noticed I am international they rejected my apps and basically told me why.

What strategies/ reading materials did you use to prepare for the MCAT? and you said you are also applying for MD options too? Are there any schools out there who consider internationals for MD only option?

We should probably change the name of this forum to so that international students could recognize it.
 

mynameistoolong

7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2010
261
174
Cowboy Land
Status
MD/PhD Student
What strategies/ reading materials did you use to prepare for the MCAT?
The endless MCAT threads probably can help you better than anything I say. I basically used the SN2ed study guide.

and you said you are also applying for MD options too? Are there any schools out there who consider internationals for MD only option?
Yes. Many privates do, most publics don't. Top-tier schools are more open to internationals. This year, 17 of the top 20 consider internationals; 2/3 of schools ranked 21-41 do; less than half of schools ranked 42-63 do, etc etc. Again, the MSAR has all the data.

We should probably change the name of this forum to so that international students could recognize it.
Lol... You mean the thread? I wouldn't want this place to become forums.internationalstudentdoctor.net... :whistle:
 
OP
E
May 12, 2013
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
The endless MCAT threads probably can help you better than anything I say. I basically used the SN2ed study guide.


Yes. Many privates do, most publics don't. Top-tier schools are more open to internationals. This year, 17 of the top 20 consider internationals; 2/3 of schools ranked 21-41 do; less than half of schools ranked 42-63 do, etc etc. Again, the MSAR has all the data.


Lol... You mean the thread? I wouldn't want this place to become forums.internationalstudentdoctor.net... :whistle:
Haha Yea, I meant the thread. I am new to this stuff.
 
Mar 2, 2013
40
19
Status
Pre-Medical
Might not apply for internationals, but I have to disagree on summer programs-I attended one and the connections, mentoring, and more were invaluable. That being said, there is no substitute for sustained research in a lab at your home institution.
 
May 5, 2011
119
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The Thenar Eminence
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I don't know if this has changed, but part of the problem if I recall correctly, is that the NIH funded MSTP training grants require recipients be United States citizens. I know this was the case with my program. There are "privately" funded MD/PhD programs that might take foreign students, but by definition these are not "MSTP".
 

mynameistoolong

7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2010
261
174
Cowboy Land
Status
MD/PhD Student
It varies by institution. Many don't, but a decent fraction of MSTP funded programs have private money they can use for internationals. About 10 internationals enroll in MSTPs every year across the country.
 
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