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Washington University, St. Louis

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Hopkins2010, Jun 26, 2001.

  1. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I had my premedical committee interview today, and the chair of the committee strongly encouraged me to look into their MD/PhD program. He said he was going to write them a letter personally about me, but I doubt that will do much good since they have such outstanding people applying there. Besides, my MCAT is significantly below their avg so I probably won't make the first cut. Even then, I'd probably opt to stay closer to home than St. Louis if I get accepted to multiple schools.

    Anyways, I dont know much about this school so how do you guys like it or dislike it? I hear good things about their MD/PhD. Anybody out there in their MD/PhD program?
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  3. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    Washington U is very reputable. I'm applying to their MD program, but I am about average in their accepted GPA and MCAT scores (below in VR). However, I'm not expecting a lot. It's more of a dream school for me. I think it's a very good school and if you have an opportunity to go there for MD/PhD, I'd do it in a sec.
  4. Seal

    Seal Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Hey Baylor21:

    Definitely apply to Wash U.! I am a bit biased in my enthusiasm, as I am about begin medical school there (as part of the MSTP), but I do believe that Wash U. has one of the strongest MD/PhD programs in the country.

    Certainly the medical school and research are very strong, competitive with other top academic centers without a doubt. Wash U.'s MSTP is one of the largest programs, with about 22-25 students in a medical school class of 120, making the MSTPs very well-represneted. Moreover, Wash U.'s MSTP is EXTREMELY well-organized. If you interview there, you will see what I mean--the administrators are wonderful, the MSTP committee and other advisors constantly provide support and encouragement, advise students, etc. etc. That would explain why the students there are so satisfied... (that, and the P/F of the first year, low living expense, etc.)

    All these things things really sold me on the school earlier this year. Even though unlike you, I never would have imagined myself living in the Midwest, I fell in love with the friendy and laid-back atmosphere at Wash U. After interviewing at a dozen places (a lot of money...), I knew that Wash U. was the perfect place for me.

    So I'd definitely encourage you to apply, baylor. In terms of acceptance, yes, the school looks heavily on grades and MCAT (they are proud of their #1 in student selectivity ranking), but if you make it to the interview your chances are VERY high. That's because Wash U.'s MSTP accepts all students right after the interview, so you are not really competing with anybody else. If they like you, you're in, regardless of the other applicants. I think the interview there also focuses VERY much on research, in my opinion more so than other places, so if you've got a thorough understanding of your research and your dedication to pursue it, then you'll do well. (FYI: 50-60 out of 90 interviewees are accepted each year.)

    Good luck! And if there are any other incoming Wash U. students, I would love to speak to them!
  5. ckent

    ckent Banned Banned

    Jul 31, 2000
    I posted something in another thread about Wash U, but I just wanted to add to not be discouraged from applying to their MD/PhD (MSTP) Program if your GPA or MCAT is low. One student, an MD/PhD student, I talked to while there was telling me how at her interview there, other MD/PhD candidates were talking to her and "laughing" about how they had heard that an applicant with a 30 MCAT was applying to the MD/PhD program. Well, this girl was that student with the 30 MCAT, but she had awesome research experience so she got in whereas the other interviewees all ended up elsewhere. When evaluating candidates for the MD/PhD program, Wash U, and I think most schools, are mainly concerned with the level of research the student was involved in during undergrad and the level of commitment to research they pick up from the student in the interview and from their letters of recommendation. Also, I know that at Wash U, sometimes the PhD program will push the MD program to accept a student so that the student can be MD/PhD if the student does not quite reach the MD program's standards. I could tell another story about that but you can just take my word on it.
  6. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Seal and CKent,

    Both of your posts were very encouraging. My GPA is pretty good (3.9) but my MCAT is low for MD/PhD (31). I think I looked at Wash U's website and their stated avg MCAT is around 34-35 or so.

    Anyways, I know that one number is not everything, so I will strongly consider applying. The interviewer today knew a student last year from my school who was accepted to the MSTP program at Wash U. and he seemed to imply that my application was competitive with his app when he applied last year.

    I love talking about my research, so I'm really looking forward to going into insane detail on it during the MD/PhD interviews. My research experience I think is competitive, so it shouldn't hold me back too much. My only worry is that I will go off the deep end about research so much in the interview that they wont have a chance to find out other stuff about me (I almost did that in my premed committee interview today but consciously tried to steer the subject back to other issues).

    Thanks for responding about the program, sounds like a very cool place to be. Good luck to both of you.
  7. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 15+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    Here is what I have heard through the grapevine about WashU's MSTP program (pretty close to the source since I did my undergrad in Missouri and many of my friends applied to WashU)

    First, it is probably one of the best MSTP programs in the country if not the best for all of the reasons mentioned before.

    Second, I have actually heard that it is a little easier to gain admission to their MSTP program than it is the strict MD program (provided you have extensive research experience) because less of an emphasis is placed on MCAT and more on research experience. WashU is one of the worst schools (or best, depending on which end of the spectrum you find yourself) focusing mainly on MCAT (note that they have the highest MCAT average of all schools. I asked someone there about it when I was thinking of applying there and they told me the MCAT is around 40% total weight in deciding admission to WashU; take it for what you will, but I have every reason to trust my source).

    Third, you do not need do it unless you really want to have a more academic career rather than a practicing career. I have talked to several MD/PhDs at my school (I was debating it for financial reasons) and they have all told me the PhD is really not necessary to do research, but just provides more knowledge of how to set up experiments. If you plan to do clinical research, they have told me the PhD is not all that critical; it only comes into play if you do more bench-type research. Most that I know have chosen either one path or the other and only one does both. Think about why you will be doing it before you do decide one way or another. Just because someone thinks you should does not mean they know what is best for you.

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