Jul 23, 2018
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I'm debating between MD vs. MD-PhD. I know there are many threads on this and I've read all of them and still feel uncertain. I think I'm competitive for both and it's really a decision of what's best for my career.

Briefly about me:

MCAT: 524; GPA: 4.00

Research: continuously since HS, 2 different cancer labs (one at sloan kettering, another at harvard), 4 papers (Cell, Nature Medicine, etc.), 1 first-author review, 4 posters

Clinical Volunteering: 250 hours in geriatrics (started my own music therapy sessions at the end of it with my school's support)

Non-Clinical Volunteering: 250 hours in school's Habitat for Humanity chapter (mid-level leadership)

Shadowing: 150 hours (neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, primary care GI)

Extra-curriculars:

1. Healthtech startup co-founder and CEO ($50,000 in funding, $30,000 from our own school; various articles/interivews written about us)
1. Goldwater Scholarship for research
3. Editor-in-chief of school's science publication
2. Student government member for the campus volunteer organizations
3. TA for bio department (2 different classes)
4. Mid-level leadership in school's intramural running club
5. Vice president of school's table tennis club
6. Deputy editor for a national undergraduate science journal
7. Designated upon matriculation as entering class' top 10 research students with 4 years of funding.

Thanks.

I'm thinking that I would apply to 15 schools and try to focus on each of their apps rather than recycle my secondaries for like 22 schools. Am I a dumb-dumb for thinking this way? I just can't see see how I can write 20+ secondaries (of course not everyone will send me their secondaries lol) without sacrificing quality. Is it really awful to shoot for 15 (9 top-tier, 3 mid-tier, and 3 in-state safeties)? Please talk some sense in to me... Much appreciated and thanks!
 

capriccio

2+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2016
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I applied to 21 schools last cycle with similar stats and much less impressive ECs, and in retrospect, I definitely could have cut out a couple schools without any regrets. I'm not certain about the applying norms for MD/PhD, but for MD only, I think with your very impressive application, you would be fine with a wisely chosen 15 school list (unless you're a CA resident? That could change things).
 
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NapoleonBonaparte
Jul 23, 2018
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I am a NY resident (I wish I was Cali lol). I will be most likely applying MD over MD PhD.

Did my application scream MD PhD to you? I feel like that’s not a good thing then since I actually want to apply MD...
 

capriccio

2+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2016
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Did my application scream MD PhD to you? I feel like that’s not a good thing then since I actually want to apply MD...
No haha, sorry if my previous post gave off that impression—you sounded pretty undecided in your first post so I thought I should mention both, but if you've decided on MD that's great! It sounds like your clinical volunteering was involved/interesting, and you have a lot of shadowing, so I don't think you should have a problem with convincing people that you want to do medicine.

EDIT: regarding schools, you have your pick of any of the T20s (I feel like you should apply to Stanford for sure, given how research heavy they are and your startup background, and then go for NY privates like Columbia, NYU, Cornell, or Sinai), and then for mid-tiers try to pick research-focused schools like Case Western or Pitt. To be safe though maybe apply to all 4 SUNYs.
 
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NapoleonBonaparte
Jul 23, 2018
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Thank you both for the advice.

I am actually pretty split between the MD or the MD-PhD. I know I shouldn’t base my decision off what I have a better chance of acceptance for, but in your eyes what do you see my shot at an MD versus and MD-PhD to be lower or higher relative to each other? I just want to see if my profile and my activities/achievements “lean” towards a certain direction. Or do I stand a precisely equal chance either way?
 

capriccio

2+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2016
170
307
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I think you have a very strong application for either MD or MD/PhD. On average though, MD/PhD admissions tends to demand a higher GPA/MCAT average than MD only, but you don't have that problem bc you've pretty much maxed out your stats. Having 4(!!) papers puts you in the top tier of applicants as far as research is concerned. Honestly, I think you are so well-rounded that there's no point in debating which path you have a better chance of acceptance in, because so long as you don't absolutely bomb your essays and interviews, you're getting accepted somewhere regardless of whether you choose to apply MD or MD/PhD, and it's probably going to be somewhere really good. Choose whichever path your heart desires.