1. What do you find most helpful? Give us your feedback on the 2019 SDN Member Survey to help further the SDN mission (and win prizes!)
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

Recently Considering MD/PHD

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by CuriousStar, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. CuriousStar

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hi,

    I am a pre-med and have been doing neuroscience research for almost a year. I am now considering a dual degree. Any advice or suggestions on how to make myself standout as a good canidate for an MD/PHD program?

    i.e what should my gpa/mcat score be, how much research experience should I have, how to go about choosing the right school etc.

    Thank you in advance for reading and providing help!:)
     
  2. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian
    Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,159
    Likes Received:
    282
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The quality of your GPA is institution-dependent.
    Shoot for an MCAT of 33 or higher.

    Make SURE you want a scientific career.

    Be able to explain in detail WHY you want both careers.

    The rest will take care if itself.
     
  3. TheCybermen

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    one of the things that will make selecting a school infinitely different with an eye toward both degrees instead of one is the presence of faculty doing the work that you might be interested in.

    several of my colleagues in medical school couldn't understand why i withdrew all applications to some otherwise nominally higher-ranked schools as soon as i got into my top choice. i had to explain over and over that in addition to various med-school related factors (location, prestige, quality of life, quality of teaching, residency placement, etc.), the hit-or-miss insofar as my decision was concerned was whether or not the school was big on the fields that gripped me the strongest.

    that said, it's important to commit yourself to a sustained effort in research. get yourself in a lab, get comfortable with the research focus that you pick (or picked), and work at it. the rest tends to follow (publications, presentations, networking opportunities, etc.). of course it's hard for individuals to know what their interests and outlook on a profession or personal future will be in ten years, given that so much of life is happenstance. but it's always good to have a plan and to see it through as best you can.:thumbup:

    some of my less abstract offerings are:
    1) what you major is in school and were you took your undergraduate degree are footnotes at best, and
    2) your GPA and MCAT need to be competitive regardless of what you hear or read.

    best of luck to you.
     
  4. JETER

    JETER Super Educated, I'm Smarter than Spock
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    There is quite a bit of info out there about MSTP and choosing schools, background required, etc. However, the single best resource I found when I was tossing the idea around was this thread:MSTP Boulevard. Its a bit old, but well worth the few hours to read. In fact, I think anyone who is even considering the MD/PhD route should read it.
     
  5. Dr.Watson

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    http://www.mdphds.org/ is a great resource. Also, read the Neuronix's FAQs stickied at the top of our forum. Lots of good links there.
     
  6. AtreyuRocks

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    I'm not trying to contradict thecybermen or anything, because i definitely agree that a competitive GPA and MCAT important for an MD/PhD applicant. But if your stats are poor as far as GPA and you can't increase it you really need to get the MCAT up there. If you can't do either (my case) you have to make DAMN sure your research shows in your essays. Getting into an MD/PhD program with not so stellar scores is possible if you have extensive research experience (I just missed the cutoff point for both GPA and MCAT). As far as getting into an MSTP program, your chances become very low if your GPA and/or MCAT are/is non-competitive.
     
  7. sunnypiano6

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    .
     
    #7 sunnypiano6, Mar 7, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  8. AtreyuRocks

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    sorry, i was mostly talking specifically about where i applied. it really depends on the school itself. from the data i have collected on my own... i can give you this (for the 2007 app cycle):

    Brown 3.0, N/A
    Georgetown 3.5 GPA, 10 in every section on MCAT
    Loyola Stritch 3.33 (B+ average or better), 30+ (or close to this)
    Virginia Commonwealth University 3.5 GPA, 30 MCAT
    University of Miami (MD/PhD takes OOS) 3.4 GPA, 30 MCAT
    University of South Florida (I think they are mainly instate) 3.0, 24 MCAT

    wow, i just realized they are pretty similar. hehe. anyways, schools will often make exceptions... asking whether it is a hard cut-off or not is always a good idea. Many programs (especially MSTP) do not have any cut-off points BUT one thing that is always required is a letter of recommendation from a research mentor or someone familiar with your research. Despite no "cutoffs" (from what I have seen) this often means it is a competitive program (ie: MSTP) and you are looking at >3.6 and >33 to be competitive (I'm being lenient I know, but anyone else think vastly differently?) unfortunately not TOO many MD/PhD applicants utilize MDapplicants.com but it is still a nice resource anyways. the MSAR is also is not too useful so I did a crap load of researching and it will hopefully pay off soon =).
     
  9. 1Path

    1Path Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    4
    I've found that research at the "right" places combined with a first author publication does a TON to offset a weak MCAT. Of course, this does NOT include say the top 10 or so schools, who seem to value 1) Youth :laugh: 2) a Strong MCAT and 3) a Strong GPA.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. AtreyuRocks

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    yep! that is very true. i did research at a strong institution with a strong reputation but i lacked in publications (1 pub in UG journal, 1 pending for peer-reviewed journal). also, that letter from your PI and how important he is super-helps too. and your ability to talk about your research inside and out, upstream and downstream, question, hypothesize etc is super important. you want to WOW them with your essay to peak the interest for an interview invite, then kick ass in the interview and show them that your profile on paper does you no justice! (speaking from my experience thus far)

    EDIT: youth, haha. yeah thats cause it takes so long, if you have your youth when you start, its gone when you are finished.
     
  11. 1Path

    1Path Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    4
    A few of the top 10's and a recruiter from Meharry, considered me to be too advanced in age when I considered them in my late 30's (I'm 40 now) to even think about applying MD/PhD. Oh well, what's an "Old lady" to do?:laugh:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. OP
    OP
    CuriousStar

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks guys for all your advice! IT was really helpful:thumbup:
     

Share This Page