questions about mstp programs

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by aagopal, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. what's up guys

    i'm currently applying to med school, and recently got a letter from one of the universities i am applying to regarding their mstp program. i am interested in applying to the program, but would like to compare it to other nationwide programs. does anyone know of any websites (similar to US news and world report) where different mstp programs are compared and appraised? avg gpa/mcat scores, as well as how well each program is regarded, would be helpful.

    thanks a lot
     
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  3. CaNEM

    CaNEM Senior Member
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    There is no "US News MSTP" rating list, but a common way to quantify the success of a particular program if to look at how many NIH-funded MSTP spots the program has. NIH spots are granted on the basis of how many students the program successfully gets through to graduation in a decent amount of time (7-8 years), so it is one measure of "quality," though not the only one. If you tell us what school you're talking about, we can help you out with this info.

    Currently, the "top" programs have about 10 NIH funded spots (Hopkins, Wash U), though this number is expected to increase over the next few years. Many schools have MD/PhD programs that have zero NIH funded spots and are therefore not MSTPs. A list of the MSTPs can be found at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/funding/mstp.html

    Let us know what school this is, and if you have any other questions.
     
  4. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    Rankings don't really mean a whole lot in the real world. If a school has MSTP funding, it has a major amount of research going and is already getting a great deal of NIH dollars. What really counts IMO is if a school is strong in the area of research you're interested in doing. Let us know what kind of research you're interested in, what kinds of areas you're interested in living in, etc, and we can help you better.

    But if you insist on having rankings, the USNews research rankings sort of serves as a rankings guide. It doesn't give stats for MD/PhD programs (there's no central source for this), but it does give alot of other information.
     
    #3 Neuronix, Oct 20, 2002
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  5. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
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    Neuronix makes some good points; if you absolutely need a guide to strength of program, you might want to ask faculty members at the school you're currently attending what they think about the research that's going on a particular school.

    For something more objective, the NIH ranks departments by the amount of grant money they dole out:

    http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/rank/medindp01.htm

    Caveat Emptor: different schools have different setups for their basic science departments: ie some schools anatomy is rolled up in cell biology, developmental biology is rolled up in genetics, or cell, or otherwise.

    Best of luck,

    Jason
     
  6. thanks for your replies; i appreciate the input.

    to clarify my question, i am speaking about the drexel university college of medicine mstp. do you guys have any information regarding this program? specifically, i would be interested in pursuing a phd in neuroscience.

    also, i had another question. it is only recently that i have been considering applying to a mstp program. however, having already applied to md programs, and filled out the requisite primary/secondary applications, i am feeling a bit burnt out with the whole application process. thus in addition to being too late to apply to many mstp programs, i am not excited to go through yet another application process. in that sense, then, i am wondering if it is possible to apply for entrance into a school's md/mstp program during the first year of medical college. in other words, let's say i get admitted to MD program at university 'x.' during my first year of medical education at university 'x,' can i apply to its md/phd program?

    thanks for the help.
     
  7. jot

    jot

    most certainly, in fact it is encouraged in many places. plus it is a little bit easier than the original round of selection - though there will only be about 1 or 2 spots open. the down side is that you pay for 2 years of meddyskool - but the rest is taken care off. enjoy ...
     
  8. CaNEM

    CaNEM Senior Member
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    aagopal,

    Drexel does not have an official MSTP, if you define MSTP as an NIH-funded program. The schools that do have MSTPs are listed in the link that I provided above.

    As far as Drexel's MD/PhD program, a number of my friends have applied and interviewed there in recent years (when it was MCP Hahnemann) and they were not at all impressed. The school has had a lot of financial problems, and funding is an important issue to consider when applying to graduate programs. Drexel's MD/PhD program does NOT provide a stipend during the four medical years of training, where as MSTP programs DO provide a living stipend. This means that you will have to take out a loan to cover living expenses (unless you are independently wealthy) which will accumulate much interest during the 7-8 year program, residency, and fellowships.

    Specifically, I am also not too keen on Drexel's neuroscience program, simply because I am not impressed by the work most of the faculty members are doing. Of course, this is my personal opinion which is based on my own research interests in neuroscience.

    If you intend to apply MD/PhD this cycle, you need to complete applications very soon. This will involve you writing an essay about your research experience and one about your motivation to pursue the combined degree program (and combining them into one for some schools). Also, you'd have to get research-focused letters of recommendation. There would be no additional fees.

    At almost all MD/PhD programs, you certainly can apply during your first year of medical school, and in some cases, even later (although this means your first year of medical school would not be funded). If you are unsure about whether you want to do an MD/PhD program or not, this might be your best option. Do some research over the summer before medical school, and then make up your mind. MSTPs are a huge committment, and are only for those who are truly dedicated to becoming a physician scientist and can't imagine taking any other career route. If a major deciding factor in your case is whether or not you have to fill out a few more applications, perhaps you don't have the necessary drive or motivation at this time.

    Again, we are here if you need any help or advice.
     
  9. ellieka

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    Actually, Drexel's MD/Ph.D program offers a full tuition waiver and a stipend, as well as a medical insurance allowance. :) So you wouldn't have to worry about finances.

    see here: http://www.drexelmed.edu/Home/AcademicPrograms/BiomedicalGraduateStudies/Programs/CombinedMDPhD.aspx
     
  10. random cell

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