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Please help! Need advice

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by trunksvegeta, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. trunksvegeta

    trunksvegeta Senior Member
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  3. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
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    Bummer...you'd be expected to complete the program? If this is the way you're thinking about it, my guess would be that you should pick another route.
     
  4. trunksvegeta

    trunksvegeta Senior Member
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    well I don't mind finishing it...its just that it will definitely take at least 1.5 years...maybe more....suppose I apply to med school and still have a few classes to take...they want to make sure I finish the program before they consider your application seriously..even if I have every intention to do so...I'm sure they would rather see it on paper...officially. Sorry for your misunderstanding
     
  5. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    That's actually not true. For example, the majority of applicants who apply are current undergraduates who have not received bachelor's degrees yet. Do med schools still take their applications seriously even though they haven't eceived a degree? YES! Admissions committees go with the good faith policy that if you say that you expect to complete your degree before you begin medical school, then you will (even a master's or PhD). If everyone were expected to complete the degrees they're working on before they apply to med school, everyone would have to delay their applications by a full year!
     
  6. trunksvegeta

    trunksvegeta Senior Member
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    makes sense...thanks a lot for clearing that up..!
     
  7. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    Whoa! ajm, I must disagree.

    Many, if not most, med schools prefer completed grad degrees. Few of us grads got in by applying while still in grad school.

    There were several threads on this a few months ago, and others will share their horror stories, like mine, in which they applied while finishing a degree, but got rejected on that basis alone. You can even see this information in print from med schools if you look hard enough (boy is it hard to find).

    Bottom line: the rules are different for grad students.

    Why? Mainly because it causes bad blood for one grad program to 'raid' another, and they don't want you to bail on your program midstream.

    By the way, I think there was only ONE poster who got in by applying as she was finishing, but her case was rather special--she was in a program connected to the med school or something like that.

    Trunksvegeta, I'd do some more research on this topic by asking an experienced advisor, or by calling med schools' admissions.

    best,
    kris
     
  8. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    kris, i've been repeatedly told the complete opposite. i have a year of a masters program under my belt and am spreading the last few remaining courses over the next year as i apply to med schools. every med school i am applying to stated that they simply expect you to finish your grad degree before you actually matriculate (which i will certainly do), not that it must be completely finished *before* you apply. there were PLENTY of second-year grad students in my program who were applying to med schools as they finished up, and all were successful. i even knew a guy who was applying during his *first* year of grad school and made it clear to any adcom that asked that he would leave the grad program unfinished to enter med school if accepted. this was risky, as everyone has always advised me that adcoms want to see the commitment required to actually finish the degree (and this guy was actually denied interviews at a few schools and was explicitly told it was because they saw he was in the middle of a degree that couldn't be completed before med school matriculation) but he was offered multiple interviews and is about to begin med school in a few weeks.

    but what i think matters is whether or not one is able to significantly improve their med school applications in just a year of school--it may take two years to demonstrate to adcoms that you are making an improvement, etc. but i've *never* been instructed to finish my masters before applying to med school.

    but, as you mention, it is always wise to check with each individual med school before making assumptions.
     
  9. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    sandflea, thanks for the different perspective.

    You essentially got the same idea that I did, but on a lesser scale.

    It appears there are several schools out there that will flat-out reject you because you are in the middle of a grad program, as you mentioned, and as I experienced. I think the difference may lie in the fact that finishing grad degrees is not always on the same clear-cut time scale as finishing undergrad degrees.

    On the other hand, it sounds like you and your friend also found some grad-but-not-finished friendly ones.

    That's hopeful news.
     
  10. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Sandflea basically stated a bit more eloquently what I tried to say in my previous post. That is that if you are planning on finishing your graduate degree before you begin medical school, then you're fine. It's the applicants that are planning on dropping out of their graduate program if accepted that will have much more of a problem.

    This really isn't that different from an undergraduate applying to medical school -- there is the expectation that the undergrad will complete his or her degree before they start medical school. Also, particularly with Master's programs, there is typically a set finish date, since they are more focused on completing classes rather than a be-all, end-all research project. This tends to make Master's programs much more predictable than PhD programs as far as time-frame.

    I have to say that I have worked for several years in medical school admissions, and applicants who are in the middle of graduate degree programs tend to do quite well -- as long as they are planning on completing their graduate degree. Now, what can work against a graduate student who's applying is that grad students tend to become very focused on their research, and may not have the amount of extracurricular's that a non-grad student might have, and they can be perceived as a not very well-rounded applicant by the admission's commitees. This is something that negatively affects grad students much more often than a school worried that they won't finish their degree program, IMO.
     
  11. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Kris -- I should add that there may very well be some grad-student hostile schools out there, and that maybe you were unlucky enough to have applied to a large proportion of them. But in my admissions work, and in discussing the admissions process with a number of grad-student applicants, I really haven't heard of this as being a widespread problem.

    I would recommend checking with each school that you're considering applying to, though, just to be safe.
     
  12. jintonic5

    jintonic5 Senior Member
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    ajm, i don't suppose you could name a few schools that are "grad student hostile," could you? just for curiousity's sake :)
    -jin
     
  13. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    sandflea, ajm,

    Hmmm. I think I'm bitter :D

    This is quite a turnaround from posts some time ago, but I think you're onto something with respect to MA's vs PhD's. I'm from the humanities, so finishing either (thesis-based) doesn't have a whole lot to do with coursework. On the other hand, most of my friends in science MA's have a strict schedule that their entire program is on.

    I applied from a humanities PhD, and god only knows when we decide to finish those, at least in my field. :)

    The very sad fact is that my premed admissions office assured me that I was in a prime position to apply. I now know they didn't know their asses from their elbows as far as grad students go.

    UNMC and Loyola both told me flat out that my grad student status was a problem--after I applied. I was done with coursework and needed to write the diss. But again, that time frame can be iffy, so that was probably a big part of the problem. Naturally this would not apply to vegeta's situation.

    What a horrible experience. I just wouldn't want to wish that on anyone, and I guess I'm out there sending out "caution" flags in a panic.

    It sounds like science MA's are pretty safe to apply from--perhaps PhD's too.

    Thanks again for the perspective.

    Me? I'll get over it, eh? ;)
     
  14. Denilson

    Denilson Senior Member
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    Admissions committee just wants to make sure that you will finish your current degree program MS or PhD before matriculating into med school...my advisor is writing a rec letter and he also stated that i'll be done with my phd by latest spring of 2002 if not earlier...that's all they wanna know...but if you are in the middle of a graduate program, then you need to have some confirmation that you will finish in time... ;)
     
  15. trunksvegeta

    trunksvegeta Senior Member
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    thats what I thought...thanks everybody for the great help...the key point I guess is that you will need to be done before entering medical school...
     

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