Lukkie

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Just got an e-mail today from them.

November 2008

Dear Medical School Applicant:
Congratulations on your fine performance on the MCAT. As part of our recruiting efforts, we sendinformation to MCAT examinees who performed well in order to let them know about the unique MD/PhDopportunities available through the Medical Scholars Program (MSP) at the University of Illinois. If youhave done undergraduate research and have considered a career in academic medicine and medicalresearch, we encourage you to take a few moments to check out our web site(http://www.med.uiuc.edu/msp/).

In order to apply, please visit our Admissions website at www.med.uiuc.edu/msp/Admissions.aspand use the on-line application. Please note that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents areeligible to apply to the College of Medicine, and thus to the Medical Scholars Program. Our MSP on-lineapplication deadline is December 31, 2008. You must also designate school code #128 University ofIllinois at Chicago on your AMCAS application by December 31, 2008. On the AMCAS application,please make sure to check the MD/PhD Box and complete the associated MD/PhD essays if you are anMD/PhD applicant.The MSP web site provides additional information about the MSP and has links to most graduatedepartments. A few highlights about the MSP:V The MSP is one of the largest MD/PhD programs in the country with over approximately MD/PhDstudents currently enrolled.V The MSP provides a diverse offering of PhD fields to combine with the MD - we have studentspursuing PhDs in the humanities, social sciences, engineering, physical sciences and, of course, inthe biomedical sciences.V All of the MD and PhD training is done at the Urbana-Champaign campus. The University of Illinoisat Urbana-Champaign (http://www.uiuc.edu) is a world class research institution that boasts the thirdlargest library in the country, is the home of National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and theBeckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the new Institute for Genomic Biology,which provide unique opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Many of our PhD programs areranked in the top 10 in their respective disciplines.V Our clinical training program provides many opportunities for 1-on-1interaction with practicingphysicians.V Scheduling - The primary scheduling requirement of the MSP is that students begin their studies inthe graduate program. After completing the first year of graduate school, students, in consultationwith their faculty advisors, and in accordance with MSP policies, are free to choose the appropriatesequencing of studies.V Funding opportunities available for all MD/PhD students include a tuition and fee waiver along with astipend. Funding is usually provided through the student’s graduate department in the form of aresearch or teaching assistantship, and/or fellowship.V The MSP also offers an MD/JD and an MD/MBA program, although funding for students in these twoprograms is limited.If you have any questions about the Medical Scholars Program please feel free to contact our AssistantDean, Amanda Cuevas, at 217-333-8146 or by e-mail at [email protected]. We look forward to hearingfrom you!

I wasn't planning to apply MD/PhD since my GPA is absolute garbage but looking through their site, they claim

The mean scores for our recent entering classes have been a 32 on the MCAT and a 3.5 GPA.

which gives me a reasonable shot. However, that sounds way too low for an MSTP program. is there something i'm missing here?
 

StIGMA

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I received their e-mail also. Who knows how many classes that average includes, but recent years are likely slightly higher.

With such small matriculating classes, some MST Programs have unusual numbers, but it is because these applicants apparently were better prepared for the education in other ways. Also, the range of GPA/MCAT is likely large, throwing off the averages a bit.
 

anemone2

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However, that sounds way too low for an MSTP program. is there something i'm missing here?

Technically University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is not MSTP (you know, not NIH funded and all that) - maybe that has something to do with it??
 
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Jorje286

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I got the same email too. Except that I can't apply since I'm not a US citizen.

is there something i'm missing here?

I think the usual 36 3.8 stats given are for the top ranked MSTPs. For example, Einstein which is also an MSTP report an average MCAT of matriculated applicants of 33. MUSC, another MSTP say that qualified applicants have MCATs in the 80th percentile. Given that their program isn't even an MSTP, yes, it's very possible that these stats are real.
 

Karate Monkey

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I got this email today. I applied MD to UIC and am complete since 11/3/08 but no invite yet. I have interviewed at N'western though (MD as well). Do you think that they are just canvassing by sending it to all MCAT takers with XX score or are they selecting specific applicants who are applying to UIC? (p.s. I got a 34L and have a 3.91BCPM/ 3.96Overall GPA, no real research background) Or might they be hinting at us to apply MD/PhD as well? Seems kinda fishy? I am dreadfully curious if anyone has the answers.

I am 28 already so a PhD would put me off for quite a while, but I would consider it for sure. I would love to get a PhD in Exercise Science though!!!!!
 

anemone2

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I think it's based on MCAT scores and not specific to UIC applicants - my friend got one, and she didn't apply to UIC (but she did get a 35 on her MCAT). Hope this helps..
 

Karate Monkey

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I think it's based on MCAT scores and not specific to UIC applicants - my friend got one, and she didn't apply to UIC (but she did get a 35 on her MCAT). Hope this helps..

Not the personal invitation I had hoped for...but still promising nevertheless. Thanks for the info!
 

MudPhudHopeful

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Speaking of UIUC's MSP, does anybody know what the financial aid situation is like as an MD/Phd student there? Here's what it says on its website:

In general students are supported by their graduate program at the "half-time level" during the four to five years they spend primarily in graduate work. This support is in the form of a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or fellowship. During the years they spend primarily pursuing medical studies, students are generally supported at the "quarter-time level" (same tuition and fee waiver, one-half the stipend). This is usually in the form of a teaching assistantship or fellowship.

I am not familiar with the terms "half-time level" and "quarter-time." It sounds to me like you are essentially going for free, but you just get a larger stipend when you are in your graduate phase? Could anybody chime in?
 

Neuronix

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I'm not sure what it means really. Though IMO teaching requirements are a really annoying PITA that tend to hold people longer in programs.

When there is not "full funding", but rather no medical school funding or partial funding, the competitiveness of those spots are usually about the same as the level of the accompanying medical school. In other words, full-funding is a key player in making MD/PhD programs more competitive. In other words... SHOW ME THE MONEY JERRY! SHOW ME THE MONEY!
 

StereoSanctity

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I interviewed with this program last year (so take everything below with a grain of salt, as my memories of interviews are currently being replaced by immunology...):

There are two main things that I remember not liking about this program - (1) You start off in the research phase of your training, and take your first two years of med school whenever you have the time over those years. When I was applying, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to get my PhD in - but I did know that I didn't want a PhD in Molecular Biology (the program I was accepted to there). I also didn't really like that you wouldn't have a cohesive med school class (though in retrospect, that was silly). (2) Funding is not guaranteed. It depends entirely on your graduate program - for instance, the program I would have been entering covered tuition and a stipend for the first year (half time being ~$12,000/year, if I remember correctly), while the student rotates through a few different labs. After the first year, it all depends on which lab you join. And once you enter the clinical years, well, why would a lab pay you to do something other than work in the lab?

There were several good things about the school, none of which really stick out in my mind (its close to Chicago, the students have time to volunteer, they have a lot of students with external grants), and I would have gone there had I not gotten off the waitlist at a different school. The administration was very friendly, so if you have any questions, just call them - you'd probably get faster and more accurate answers than whatever you find on here.

Good luck!
 
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