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Prospective MD/PhD... which job should I take?

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hallelujahworld

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Hey all,

I'm graduating and want to do research as an assistant/technician for 2 years before doing an MD/PhD program.

I got offered and recently accepted a position with a lab whose PI (PI #1) used to be an associate director of an MSTP before moving on to his/her current institution. However, I was really interested in another position, interviewed and have been offered the position with a lab whose PI (PI #2) is a huge name in his/her field, and director of a research center.

Is it ethical to retract my acceptance to go with PI #2? Would it be more beneficial as an MD/PhD prospie to stick with PI #1, who also is an MD/PhD? I feel like there's a lot of pros/cons to each of them.. the research is different, but I'm interested in both so that's not really an issue. Both have a decent opportunity to publish, though I think it'd be easier to be higher on the author list with PI #1. But PI #2's letter I think would go an extremely long way... What should I be thinking about to make my decision?

Thanks in advance.
 

Fencer

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    PI reputation is not as critical as publishing and demonstrating sustained research interest. It is ethical to withdraw your acceptance because of a better opportunity. Be truthful... but polite. Indicate that the area of PI#2 is better aligned with your long-term interests.

    In which lab is it more likely that you publish? (most important)
    Which PI is a better mentor for you?
    What area of research resonates best with your interests?
     

    K31

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    Are both potential PIs physician-scientists? For admissions, at least in my opinion, working with a physician-scientist>working with a more famous PhD-only scientist, mostly because it gives an indication the applicant has at least some idea what they are getting into.
     

    hallelujahworld

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    PI #2 is an MD, so a physician-scientist but without the formal dual training. They are both good opportunities so I just feel fortunate to have a choice... I guess I have some thinking to do. Thanks for the advice and help!
     

    Fencer

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    Are both potential PIs physician-scientists? For admissions, at least in my opinion, working with a physician-scientist>working with a more famous PhD-only scientist, mostly because it gives an indication the applicant has at least some idea what they are getting into.

    While this point is correct, if there was a higher likelihood of a publication with the PhD scientist, then the PhD mentor would be better. The experience of working with a clinical scientist could be part of your clinical shadowing with a collaborator of the PhD only mentor's lab. That would be a 2nd LOR.
     
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