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Thoughts on PhD going to MD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kutastha, Jun 28, 2001.

  1. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Throughout my years I've heard many things about PhD's applying to med school (some of which I probably shouldn't type on a public forum). Well, now it concerns me personally since I'll have my PhD by the time I (hopefully) enter medical school. I've heard it can help, it can seem like an inroute to an MD and also I've heard people suggest PhDs be banned from applying! :rolleyes:

    So, I was wondering if I could get some of your input on this situation.
     
  2. Ryu

    Ryu Member
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    You should have your detailed reasons spelled out in the personal statement. What changed your mind? Are you sure about this? Will you change again? These are the common questions Adcom will ask. Also, I suggest you check with the schools individually.
     
  3. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Many of the research-oriented schools LOVE having PhD's apply -- especially if the applicant is interested in pursuing academic medicine. The schools often consider these types of applicants as more mature, having more "life experience", very motivated, and capable of critical thinking, to name a few.

    Be sure not to have everything riding on your PhD credentials. It's still important to understand what the field of medicine is like, to do volunteer work, and to show that you are well-rounded. Make sure you are able to explain during your interviews why you are making a career change, and how you think your PhD will aid you in your practice of medicine.
     
  4. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
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    A PhD will undoubtedly help you get into medical school. I know of a few people who have gone that route, and were extremely successful (multiple acceptances.) Good luck.
     
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  5. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    You might want to try reading a book called "Becoming a Doctor" by Melvin Konner, MD, Ph.D. He somewhat shares his point of view having received a PhD in Anthropoloy before discovering he wanted to go into medical school.... I think he's a little sexist and egotistic though... Just giving you a heads up if you decide to read it....
     
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    Just having a PhD does not necessarily make anyone a more attractive applicant than an undergrad or someone with a college degree.

    The question is going to be asked WHY a PhD now wants a medical degree. There are reasons offered which can be acceptable. It also depends on how WELL the applicant can articulate the reason. A science PhD is not necessarily more attractive than a non-science degree. PhDs in French literature have been accepted as well as PhDs in molecular genetics; PhDs in French literature have been rejected as well as PhDs in molecular biology.

    A not insignificant consideration is: you already have a doctoral degree, took up time and effort of graduate professors and presumably can earn a living with it; why should we accept you to take the time and effort of more professors at the expense of an undergraduate who does not have an advanced degree and might otherwise have poorer prospects than you have?

    The key is how cogent and well articulated is the PhD's response to such questions, as well as how cogent and well articulated are the reasons for now seeking the MD.

    Medical research is conducted as often by non-MD PhDs as by MD/PhDs.
     
  7. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Well, I thank you all for your input. These are some of the responses I've heard from others. In my essay, I have indeed laid out the exact reasons why I want to go for the MD.

    I'm curious about gower's thoughts on my taking away a position from an undergrad with no PhD and poorer prospects. I was never aware they took such considerations when offering someone a position at a medical school. I want to take the time and effort from professors for the same reasons, if not more, that the undergrad does. I certainly don't think I would get into medical school at his expense.

    Andrew
     
  8. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    The admissions committee definitely does not take such considerations at my school, and I'm sure that's true at other research-oriented schools. Research experience is weighted very heavily here, and all other things being equal, the admissions committee would accept an applicant with a PhD over an undergrad, no matter what the PhD was in. To them, applicants who have a PhD have already demonstrated that they are independent, critical thinkers, and chances are they are already committed to research at some level. Life experience is also very important, and here they like older applicants as well as those who are making a career change, all of whom I guess you could argue already have better career prospects than undergrads. They still admit lots of people straight from undergrad (like me!), but they really value those applicants and students who have made a "special commitment" to research and academic medicine.
     
  9. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    That's definitely true. Out of the several students in my class that already have PhD's, one has a degree in Biochemistry, one in Psychology, and one in Philosophy. It usually doesn't matter what the PhD was in, mostly the fact that you got one. (Kind of like how it doesn't really matter what you majored in in undergrad).

    I should mention that PhD's are not by any means a shoe-in for admission. They have to demonstrate their commitment to medicine not just by what they say, but by what they have done. They also have to show that they have been doing other things (activities, volunteer work, etc.) on top of getting their PhD.
     

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