Vanderbilt University's Medical Innovators Development Program (MIDP)

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Apr 11, 2021
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Hi,

I am an international student and wish to apply to the Medical Innovators Development Program (MIDP) at Vanderbilt University (Medical Innovators Development Program | Vanderbilt University). The program is of interest to me as it has an "innovation-centred MD curriculum" and is fully funded for international students.

As per the eligibility criteria, applicants should have a PhD degree. But, at present, I do not have a PhD. However, I do have research experience of around 4 years. Below is a brief description of my profile:

I am a post-graduate in engineering with a specialization in Marine Biotechnology and hold a post-graduate diploma in Multi-Omics Technology. I have obtained a GPA of 8.77 (graduation), 8.44 with distinction (post-graduation) and 10 (post-graduate diploma) on a 10-point scale. The academic study imparted training in basic science subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Cell Biology, Immunology, Microbiology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Literature and the visual arts. Engineering subjects like electrical science, mechanical engineering, fibre optics were also covered. The medium of instruction was entirely in English.

Additionally, I have a research experience of around 4 years in both clinical and basic science areas. I'm also involved in various outreach programs in rural areas and have been actively participating in other community services ever since my time in graduation. Lastly, I have the requisite letters of evaluation/recommendation from my mentors.


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My questions are:

1. Should I appeal to the university to exempt me from producing a PhD degree on grounds of my previous research work and academic profile? If yes, how should I approach (like writing an essay justifying my case etc.)?

2. Other than Vanderbilt University, are there any other universities that offer such programs?

3. At present, I do not have an MCAT score. What other options do I have if I'm unable to appear for the MCAT this year? Are there any universities (including outside of the US) that have alternative routes?



I would be grateful to you for your inputs.

Thanks.
 
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Jul 31, 2020
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1) I highly doubt they'll waive the PhD requirement, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

2) I don't know any other programs specifically like theirs, but Carle Illinois offers a physical sciences-based medical school curriculum.

3) Unfortunately, no substitution for the MCAT. You'll need it for almost every school. There are some linkage program exceptions, but plan to take the MCAT if you wanna go to medical school.

4) It's clear that you're really into research, I'd actually advise that you apply to MD-PhD programs (esp. MSTPs). The vast majority of them will completely fund you and pay you to complete your MD and PhD. Two degree, no debt, get mentorship if you want a research-heavy career. And at most schools, you can pursue your PhD in biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, computational biology, and other omics-related fields.

Edit: Also, if you completed your schooling in another country (except Canada), you're going to need to take at least the prereqs at a US institution in order to meet the requires for the vast majority of schools (if not all schools).
 
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4) It's clear that you're really into research, I'd actually advise that you apply to MD-PhD programs (esp. MSTPs). The vast majority of them will completely fund you and pay you to complete your MD and PhD. Two degree, no debt, get mentorship if you want a research-heavy career. And at most schools, you can pursue your PhD in biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, computational biology, and other omics-related fields.
It is my understanding that MSTPs use federal funds and typically dont allow international students because of the grant requirements. I could be wrong though and many non MSTP MD/PhD programs will still support international students
 
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Jul 31, 2020
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It is my understanding that MSTPs use federal funds and typically dont allow international students because of the grant requirements. I could be wrong though and many non MSTP MD/PhD programs will still support international students
Yes and no. MSTP grants are only used for domestic students, but several MSTP programs (including the one at my school) provide full funding and benefits for international students as well. So they'll use NIH funds for domestic students and university funds for international students.
 

Orims

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I personally know a few international students at MD/PhD programs. The caveat is that these programs tend to be T20s, so getting into them is already difficult. As for the MIDP program, I am pretty sure that they only take PhDs .
 
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1) I highly doubt they'll waive the PhD requirement, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

2) I don't know any other programs specifically like theirs, but Carle Illinois offers a physical sciences-based medical school curriculum.

3) Unfortunately, no substitution for the MCAT. You'll need it for almost every school. There are some linkage program exceptions, but plan to take the MCAT if you wanna go to medical school.

4) It's clear that you're really into research, I'd actually advise that you apply to MD-PhD programs (esp. MSTPs). The vast majority of them will completely fund you and pay you to complete your MD and PhD. Two degree, no debt, get mentorship if you want a research-heavy career. And at most schools, you can pursue your PhD in biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, computational biology, and other omics-related fields.

Edit: Also, if you completed your schooling in another country (except Canada), you're going to need to take at least the prereqs at a US institution in order to meet the requires for the vast majority of schools (if not all schools).
Hi,

Thanks for all the answers.

Accept my apologies for not responding back earlier.

I explored the program at Carle Illinois. It is open to US citizens only.

Linkage programs are a good suggestion. Yes, as you said MD-PhD programs go well with my experience.

I have the following questions:


1. If I join a linkage program, it will also take care of the prereqs that I need to have as an international student. Is that the case?

2. Do these linkage programs fund (tuition+living expenses) international students? I did try to explore this at Postbac but the information here isn't updated. Can you suggest, if you know any funded programs?

3. Should I be looking for a highly ranked college to get my prereqs or any college will suffice? I mean will my choice of the college and country (Canada) for the linkage program (in the US)/prereqs (both US and Canada) affect my chances of getting admission?

4. In MD-PhD programs, is the MD portion also funded for international students? Since 8 years is a long period, is there an option to come out of the program after completion of MD?

Edit: I'm 32 now. So, in case I go for MD-PhD, it becomes 1 (prereqs)+8 (MD-PhD) = 9 years. Will my age be a factor in my selection? In terms of future career prospects, is it a good decision to move forward in this direction?

Looking forward.
Thanks.
 
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