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Jan 22, 2021
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I'm in a difficult scenario where I have an acceptance to a PhD program abroad with a prestigious scholarship, but, ultimately I would would like an MD/PhD. Turning down the scholarship would be very difficult because it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Doing the MD after the PhD is an option but not ideal.
Is it possible to switch the PhD to a masters, then apply for MSTP at different schools later on with no limitations? I saw on a few sites that matriculants to PhD programs are ineligible to apply for MSTP unless they're already at the school which isn't possible for me. Does this still apply if you've already converted to a masters student at the time of application? At what point should I talk with my advisor about this? She seems very reasonable and understanding, but I'm afraid if I discuss this option now, it will reflect poorly on me as I never even gave it a shot there.
 

FalconSlice

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I'm in a difficult scenario where I have an acceptance to a PhD program abroad with a prestigious scholarship, but, ultimately I would would like an MD/PhD. Turning down the scholarship would be very difficult because it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Doing the MD after the PhD is an option but not ideal.
Is it possible to switch the PhD to a masters, then apply for MSTP at different schools later on with no limitations? I saw on a few sites that matriculants to PhD programs are ineligible to apply for MSTP unless they're already at the school which isn't possible for me. Does this still apply if you've already converted to a masters student at the time of application? At what point should I talk with my advisor about this? She seems very reasonable and understanding, but I'm afraid if I discuss this option now, it will reflect poorly on me as I never even gave it a shot there.
Do MD-PhD or do the PhD... I'd strongly urge you not to do the PhD in plans of then doing MD afterwards (People who have done this have only done this because of a life change/shift... not as a premeditated goal). Also, I'd strongly encourage you not to "switch PhD to a masters" only to then do a PhD later... You gotta figure out what you want to do first.

Why do you even want both an MD and a PhD?

Could you do everything you ever wanted only with a PhD? If so, enjoy grad school on your journey to be a scientist.
 
Apr 13, 2020
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Think this is definitely worth a conversation with advisors! Both premed and also the graduate program abroad.

Re: switching PhD to a masters -- this will be a conversation with the graduate department to see what their rules are. In the UK, for instance, it's quite common to be able to "masters out" of a PhD. If this option is pre-determined via communications with an advisor, this could work. Again, talk with the department, but in the UK often you are technically a master's student until you pass quals/pass certain benchmarks when you become a PhD student, so certain restrictions might not apply.

Also, I believe (could be wrong) there are some distinctions between a DPhil and PhD. I know of a few cases where someone has gotten a DPhil prior to MSTP.

Finally, I know of several people doing PhDs on prestigious scholarships who do plan to do the MD after. Don't think that's out of the question... especially if you really like your research while abroad. Everyone has their own unique MD/PhD path!

These are somewhat anecdotal but perhaps helpful! Feel free to DM and I can talk some more specifics.
 
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ShinySephiroth

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Live your life, my friend. If this is an amazing opportunity (you applied for it, after all), then go for it. Don't live with regrets - med school will still be there.
Edit - also, I would do a partial PhD to then do MD/PhD... if you do the program, I'd say finish it.

Good luck!
 

Lucca

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If its the Rhodes/Gates/Marshall, do that and then do the MD afterwards. You will get in literally anywhere you want. If you want to do the Master's instead and then apply for MSTP thats also a very good option, but IMO in the interest of time its best to just go for the PhD and then go straight through medical school. The downside with that path is the debt. Masters + MSTP eliminates the debt but will take 2-3 years longer to complete both degrees. If it is in fact the Rhodes/etc. I'm sure the university will let you switch degree paths.
 
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May 23, 2019
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If its the Rhodes/Gates/Marshall, do that and then do the MD afterwards. You will get in literally anywhere you want. If you want to do the Master's instead and then apply for MSTP thats also a very good option, but IMO in the interest of time its best to just go for the PhD and then go straight through medical school. The downside with that path is the debt. Masters + MSTP eliminates the debt but will take 2-3 years longer to complete both degrees. If it is in fact the Rhodes/etc. I'm sure the university will let you switch degree paths.
Agreed. I accepted one of these scholarships instead of doing combined MD/PhD. I am planning on PhD then MD afterwards because I like my PhD lab too much to leave. OP can PM me. More than five top MD programs provide full merit or need-based (with parent income cutoffs around 100k lol) scholarships to US citizens. So you could do straight MD after the PhD on a full scholarship if you are a US citizen, as you would likely be offered (at least) one of the merit scholarships. Every year, one or more people from my PhD scholarship (small number due to small number of scholars interested in MD-PhD) go on to get MDs, usually with full funding. And if not on full scholarship, I would guess that person turned down a full merit scholarship from another slightly less prestigious school.
 
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