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schools that process MD and MD/PhD app at the same time?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by mmc48, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. mmc48

    mmc48 Med School Flunky
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    I was wondering if people knew what schools considered an application to the MD only path and MD/PhD path concurrently? I'm currently trying to decide whether I should try pursuing MD/PhD or not. I know VCU considers your applications for both separate and at the same time, per their website. Any other schools? I'm most likely a lower tier applicant but a relatively strong one for MD only.


    Thoughts on my app are welcome too.

    Me:
    Senior applying at the end of this year
    3.93 GPA (BCPM: 3.91), 33S MCAT
    Lots of shadowing
    Volunteering > 1 yr. at free clinic
    Good amount of non-medical community service (just stuff I enjoy)
    Research:
    1 summer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in molecular pharm (oral presentation)

    1 summer and 2 semesters (with another semester of work coming) of senior thesis research where I had a small research grant to fund it from a small organization. Doing nanotoxicology research here at my school, a small private LAC in East Tenn. with my grant. Two of my professors were my advisors, so they would be my LOR's.

    So, any thoughts? I'm a bit ham-stringed being at a small LAC with low research output. I didn't seriously consider MD/PhD until Spring of Junior year or so. Am I too weak on the MCAT and research to be a viable applicant?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Ariodant

    Ariodant Fiat Lux
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    I think you are viable. If you are applying next cycle, bumping the MCAT to 35+ will be nice. Otherwise, continue your research, write nice essays, get superb LORs, and apply broadly. Schools like UCSF and Yale consider MD and MSTP applications seperately, and you can always apply to your top schools MD only and apply MSTP internally after one year.
     
  4. tiamat360

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    This year at least, it was possible to apply simultaneously to the MSTP and the MD program at UCSF. I think this may have also been true at another school I applied to (Tufts or BU, I think).
     
  5. Ariodant

    Ariodant Fiat Lux
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    That was what I meant by "seperately" :) You don't have to be rejected by MSTP to be considered MD. Baylor also comes to mind as one.
     
  6. mmc48

    mmc48 Med School Flunky
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    If the applications are looked at in parallel, is there any extra part to either of the applications? Do you have to submit twice?


    Thanks for the eval of my app. If I were to stick with the MCAT I have now, does anyone have some schools that I may be a serious applicant at? I would prefer to stay east of Oklahoma and south of Pennsylvania or Vermont if possible. I'm considering MUSC, UAB, VCU, WVU, UVA, Penn State, and Vermont.

    Thanks for the help guys!
     
    #5 mmc48, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  7. mmc48

    mmc48 Med School Flunky
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    Anyone got any thoughts?
     
  8. Ariodant

    Ariodant Fiat Lux
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    Again, it's different for each school, though usually there's some extra questions on the secondary and more LOR requirements for MD/PhD. Check the websites of the schools you are interested in for their instructions.
     
  9. GliaGirl

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    Heads up: Vermont lost its funding and the MD/PhD program doesn't have any spots anymore.
     
  10. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    I was nudged to check this thread out...

    By my meter you have an excellent GPA though a slightly sub-par MCAT and a borderline amount of research. I think your chances are okay even without the year out, but you'd be borderline and have a reasonable chance of not getting in as well. I think with an additional year out for meaningful, full-time research you'll have a very solid chance at MD/PhD programs and would encourage you to do this if you are serious about MD/PhD.

    I also did not find out about the MD/PhD option until I was in my Junior year and so I also took a year out to do extra research. I faced similar problems in that my undergrad also did not have much research going on. The full-time year out I think helped my application, and my personal growth, immensely. I think with a year out you stand a good chance at top-20 but will likely get a fully-funded MD/PhD spot somewhere.

    Other schools that come to mind as considering MD and MD/PhD simultaneously are Baylor and UMich, if they still do this since the time I applied.
     
  11. mmc48

    mmc48 Med School Flunky
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    Thank you Neuronix for taking the time to reply.

    I have a lot to decide on it seems. Taking another year off would put me at 24 when I matriculate if I earn an acceptance. If I followed the standard 8 year school time, IM residency, and then fellowship, that would put me at about 38 years of age when I begin looking at academic junior faculty positions, correct? That's an awful long time.


    For clarification, what is the standard path for MD only academics? 4 years of medical school, possibly 5 if you take a year off for full-time research which I would imagine is the best situation for those interested in academics. So then residency, and then fellowship. Would you expect 1-2 years of clinical time for fellowship plus 2-3 years of research fellowship time, right? Then you could begin looking for faculty positions?

    For MD only academics, are there loan repayment programs outside of clinical or pediatric research? How do people manage the loan debt?

    Sorry for the plethora of questions, and thank you for everyone's time! I'm trying to get my mind wrapped around everything and the seriousness of my choices.
     
  12. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    That is roughly correct. It will depends on the time in grad school, residency, fellowship. You're estimating on the high side, but it'll be about the same amount of time I'm in school.

    Something like that. It works out to the same amount of time as the MD/PhD program if you want to do basic science research. Figure you must get that research training somewhere, whether that's 4 years of PhD or 4 years of post-doc/research fellowship. Those are essentially the same thing, though the research fellowships pay about $10k more adjusted for years of post-doctoral education and tend to put some clinical responsibility on you.

    Check out the NIH Loan Repayment Program. It's not certain it'll be there when you get done, fund you, or fund the research you want to do, but it's the option we have now. Otherwise you could just live like a pauper well into your late 30s. That seems hard to do if you have a family though.

    Asking questions is a good thing. Make sure you make an informed decision.
     
  13. mmc48

    mmc48 Med School Flunky
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    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I didn't think there was any reason to start a new one.

    Neuronix, when you mean take a year out, do you mean do a year of research after I graduate and apply at the end of that year out (versus applying at the end of my senior and using the year while I'm applying to do research)? I've talked to a few MD/PhD faculty and a few students, and one suggested that applying at the end of the senior year but doing the year of research while I'm applying should be plenty to demonstrate my commitment to research. Just wanted to see your opinion (and anyone else's for that matter)on that and clarify.

    Also...as I'm trying to decide between MD-only and MSTP, should I view the MSTP route more (with the presumption of going into academics) as a PHYSICIAN-scientist or as a physician-SCIENTIST? Or neither? Just trying to see what others feel the career realistically entails.

    Anyone's advice would be appreciated.
     
  14. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    The more the better, but I suspect that will be sufficient to get you into a fully-funded program.

    The goal is to produce the latter. You should feel comfortable training yourself for the latter and sell yourself as the latter. The reality is: when you're done the program you can do whatever you want with life.
     
  15. mmc48

    mmc48 Med School Flunky
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    Neuronix,

    You mentioned that you took a year out to do research. Did you apply at the end of that year or at the end of your senior year? Thanks!
     
  16. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    errr uhhh dude it's been over 5 years and I never do things typically. If memory serves (and this is really hazy)...

    Took MCAT summer 2001.
    I was done college around Spring 2002. Worked in the lab until shortly before my program started.
    I took one class in fall, got my degree in early 2003.
    Started my program in summer 2003 flat broke, needed the money, and with the optional rotation commuting from Delaware cause I couldn't afford to move in yet.

    Make sense? I had about 2 years part-time research under my belt in one lab before the full-time gig in a different lab.
     

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