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M1 here, starting to think about who to choose as a P.I.

All else being equal, is it better to pick a P.I. who is an M.D. only or a M.D./Ph.D.because they are more likely to be using a clinician-scientist model you eventually will be using yourself?

Also, any other tips on picking mentors? I have worked in three different labs, big to small, filled with postdocs to only a few grad students so I have a pretty good idea what KIND of lab I want to join. I am pretty deadset on picking a mentor who runs a big lab filled with postdocs (I value my "independence" :p). However, what should I look for in his/her personality or in their relationships with their students?
 

ChemMed

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M1 here, starting to think about who to choose as a P.I.

All else being equal, is it better to pick a P.I. who is an M.D. only or a M.D./Ph.D.because they are more likely to be using a clinician-scientist model you eventually will be using yourself?

Also, any other tips on picking mentors? I have worked in three different labs, big to small, filled with postdocs to only a few grad students so I have a pretty good idea what KIND of lab I want to join. I am pretty deadset on picking a mentor who runs a big lab filled with postdocs (I value my "independence" :p). However, what should I look for in his/her personality or in their relationships with their students?

Simply put you want the honest answers of what the post-docs/lab techs/other students think of him/her(the P.I.). Ideal traits to look for: patient enough to listen to your ideas (i.e. thinks that teaching is actually important), is funding stable, has a project that you find interesting, and the lab personal respect him/her. Notice I didn't say like, like and respect are two different things. If they are respected then even people who may not agree with them (potential P.I.) will at least acknowledge fairness.
 

erikreinertsen

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All else being equal, is it better to pick a P.I. who is an M.D. only or a M.D./Ph.D.because they are more likely to be using a clinician-scientist model you eventually will be using yourself?

Incoming M1 here and I am struggling with the same just picking a summer rotation lab. I found this useful:

http://www.mudphudder.com/2010/02/finding-a-good-mentor-asking-the-right-questions/

From my searching, the long story short is that people are not the same, and that you may thrive in a very different research environment than your classmates.

Advice from my older classmates, paraphrased: as far as the degrees, having a pure PhD PI has the benefit of pure research time due to no clinical obligations. The disadvantage is no clinical opportunities due to pure research obligations. There are MD/PhDs that are great researchers and mentors, and there are pure PhDs who are subpar investigators. There are clinicians who mesh medicine with bench work well, and there are those who do not. Don't go by pure letters after the name. Meet them if the research is really interesting, see if the personality fits, and shop around a little. Are they publishing in reputable journals? Do students speak highly of them as mentors?
 
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