Reapply MD to MD/PhD?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
Aug 29, 2023
Reaction score
Hi all,

I am currently in my gap year working as a lab tech and I applied to only MD programs in the 2023-2024 cycle. I am lucky to have been accepted to 1 MD program and am waiting on 10 other schools to get back to me. Unfortunately, I do not think I did very well on those interviews so I might just have this one acceptance. I am incredibly grateful for this acceptance but this school does not have strong research at all (and also, quite frankly, is not one of my top choices since it is far from my family).

After working in this lab so far, I have realized that I actually really love basic science research and want to continue it in med school and beyond. Some of my lab-mates suggested I can re-apply next cycle to MD/PhD programs, especially now that I have more research experience. I didn't apply to any MD/PhD programs in the current cycle because I wasn't sure if research was right for me but now I am more certain about it. I am currently on two papers (in review) and this is also a very good lab at a T20 institution. I am worried, however, that turning down an MD acceptance from this cycle will be a red flag for reapplication. Also, although I think I have strong research experience and letters of recommendation, I do not think my stats are that competitive (ORM; LM 74). Does anyone have any advice on reapplying to MD/PhD after getting into MD programs? Thank you!

EDIT: Thanks for all of your comments everyone. I am also leaning towards not reapplying. I should have clarified that the MD program I got into doesn't have strong research in the field I am working in. I will wait until I hear back from the rest of the schools before making a decision (either deferring matriculation by a year to keep working in my current lab, or applying to transfer into the MD/PhD program). Thank you, again, for all of your insights!

Members don't see this ad.
Last edited:
Look into your specific school, some of them allow you to apply to MD/PhD as an existing MD student. I reapplied and it's a miserable process - take your acceptance and run with it!
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users
Members don't see this ad :)
You got into Stony Brook as an IS resident. It is highly unlikely you get into an MD/PhD program that would “solve” the 2 cons you have for it (weaker research in your eyes and distance from family). If being away from family is an issue, you’ll probably be doubling that time if you do manage to get an acceptance somewhere after reapplying.
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
but this school does not have strong research at all
In 2023 Stony Brook received 179 NIH awards worth $67 million. How much do you need, exactly?

Does anyone have any advice on reapplying to MD/PhD after getting into MD programs?
If you take the acceptance then in 10 years you will be an attending capable of pursuing a research-oriented career.

If you back out, retool yourself for MD/PhD, and are lucky enough to get a spot, then in 10 years you'll be an M4 or PGY-1. And only about 10 more years from possibly getting your first R01.

Or you don't get a spot, and have to come slinking back to MD-only admissions having previously turned down an acceptance.

No one has a crystal ball, but what you are proposing is an objectively terrible idea.
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 9 users
Do the MD, pursue residency in your chosen area of medicine (you'll figure that out in med school) and then do a post-doc year or two to get the research skills you'll need to be an MD with a research portfolio.
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 5 users
Look into whether you can enter a PhD program after your MD. I was thinking of doing this during my residency. I knew that other residents ahead of me did this.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users