Jul 22, 2009
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Hi,
I'm a MD/PhD in my fourth year at a "top 10" medschool, and I enjoyed my psych rotation very much. I'm seriously considering psych as my career, but I haven't done well in medschool, here are my numbers:

204 Step1
Mostly Passes in third year clerkships
30% Honors/30% High Pass/30% Pass in second year
PhD, with multiple papers including first author paper in Nature


I'm very much interested in an academic career; the problem for me is that given my research background and willingness to do research, research-heavy programs will be more interested in my applications, but at the same time these programs are the most well-known programs (MGH, Yale, UCSF, UCLA, etc etc) that are the most competitive.

I am aware this is an internet board and I will take everything with a grain of salt, but what do you think of my chances at matching at a big research program? Any advice appreciated. and yes I'm also meeting with my home PD but looking for more input.
 

OldPsychDoc

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Hi,
I'm a MD/PhD in my fourth year at a "top 10" medschool, and I enjoyed my psych rotation very much. I'm seriously considering psych as my career, but I haven't done well in medschool, here are my numbers:

204 Step1
Mostly Passes in third year clerkships
30% Honors/30% High Pass/30% Pass in second year
PhD, with multiple papers including first author paper in Nature


I'm very much interested in an academic career; the problem for me is that given my research background and willingness to do research, research-heavy programs will be more interested in my applications, but at the same time these programs are the most well-known programs (MGH, Yale, UCSF, UCLA, etc etc) that are the most competitive.

I am aware this is an internet board and I will take everything with a grain of salt, but what do you think of my chances at matching at a big research program? Any advice appreciated. and yes I'm also meeting with my home PD but looking for more input.
Chances: very strong. 99%
MD/PhDs seriously interested in psych AND research are few and far between, and are highly sought. What is probably most important, more important than the "name" of the program is whether there is a mentor at a given program with whom you want to work. Think of it as similar to joining a lab at a post-doc level, albeit part-time for a couple of years. Do you want to continue in your line of research? Branch out, but apply techniques you've developed? Hook yourself to a rising star? Your answers to these questions will determine where you should focus your interviewing and investigations.

Good luck.
 

sluox

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Jan 4, 2002
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Chances: very strong. 99%
MD/PhDs seriously interested in psych AND research are few and far between, and are highly sought. What is probably most important, more important than the "name" of the program is whether there is a mentor at a given program with whom you want to work. Think of it as similar to joining a lab at a post-doc level, albeit part-time for a couple of years. Do you want to continue in your line of research? Branch out, but apply techniques you've developed? Hook yourself to a rising star? Your answers to these questions will determine where you should focus your interviewing and investigations.

Good luck.
I'm in the same boat though my step I and grades are slightly better. I'd say while your first author Nature paper should bring you over the edge, especially if it's directly relevant to psych, psych is competitive this year, with lots of MD/PhDs applying. Are you doing an elective in psych? I'm assuming your home school has a strong psych dept--you should talk to the residency director. I talked to mine and it was very reassuring.
 
OP
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Jul 22, 2009
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I'm in the same boat though my step I and grades are slightly better. I'd say while your first author Nature paper should bring you over the edge, especially if it's directly relevant to psych, psych is competitive this year, with lots of MD/PhDs applying. Are you doing an elective in psych? I'm assuming your home school has a strong psych dept--you should talk to the residency director. I talked to mine and it was very reassuring.

thanks for the comments guys- btw how do you already know that "lots of MD/PhDs are applying" already? what do u mean by "lots"? are there as many MD/PhDs in psych vs. path or IM hem/onc? this will be good b/c i'll have more colleagues who share similar visions. i'm not discouraged at all by this.

btw my PhD was not psych-related - it was a cell bio lab studying signaling pathway interactions during tumor development! :laugh: but i feel like i got a solid foundation in being ableto do good science and it is up to me to create my own niche in whatever field i end up going into.

btw, google got me to this ranking list for NIH awards: is this accurate? I know where i'll be sending my apps to then... :xf:


http://www.residentphysician.com/Psychiatry_rankings.htm
 

OldPsychDoc

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thanks for the comments guys- btw how do you already know that "lots of MD/PhDs are applying" already? what do u mean by "lots"? are there as many MD/PhDs in psych vs. path or IM hem/onc? this will be good b/c i'll have more colleagues who share similar visions. i'm not discouraged at all by this.

btw my PhD was not psych-related - it was a cell bio lab studying signaling pathway interactions during tumor development! :laugh: but i feel like i got a solid foundation in being ableto do good science and it is up to me to create my own niche in whatever field i end up going into.

btw, google got me to this ranking list for NIH awards: is this accurate? I know where i'll be sending my apps to then... :xf:


http://www.residentphysician.com/Psychiatry_rankings.htm
There's some pretty good research going on at programs 10-60 or so on that list, too. So don't limit yourself by the sheer $$$$ rankings...
 

notdeadyet

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thanks for the comments guys- btw how do you already know that "lots of MD/PhDs are applying" already? what do u mean by "lots"?
There aren't many. Take a look at the entering class for any given psych program and you'll see 1-3 MD/PhD's. You'll be in the minority and OPD's right, it'll be a good selling point.

Good luck with your decision and the process...