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What does it take to be a VERY successful non trad?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Bioboy, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Bioboy

    Bioboy 2+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    I'm a molecular biology PhD student at a top school, but I will likely be leaving my program at the Masters stage to go to medical school. I've run into a conflict: whether to apply for matriculation after my second year of grad school, or take a year off after my second year of grad school to gain more clinical/volunteer experiences. I think I am an academically strong candidate, but if I apply to med schools for entry immediately following my Masters, I will only have had clinical/volunteer experiences for about 8 months at the time I submit my primary application. Will top schools consider that a sufficient amout of time and experience? Will they want to see me take a year off?

    I'd like to stay within my university and enter the medical school here, but it's one of those schools where people really have to do extraordinary things with their lives to even be considered. Timelines are very different for non-trads, I'm sure. I just wonder what really has worked in the past.
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  3. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student 7+ Year Member

    If you are talking about top ranked med schools, research and publication may help you more than just general clinical experience. Since you're a PhD student, I suggest getting a paper published before leaving if possible. Otherwise, doing peace corps, saving babies in Africa etc for a year would probably make you stand out. From what I see of my friends, the research route seems to work the best for top schools. And oh yeah, having great numbers. :D
  4. samwise2

    samwise2 5+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    I think you need to consider the stereotype of researchers that is held (from what I have heard by med school committees). With people who have done a lot of research (I am one of them and was told this by my advisor), you need to fight the socially-awkward/rigorous analytical stereotype. They will be concerned that you can relate to people--you have already proven you can do research. They will also be concerned you are committed to medicine, which you can substantiate by doing more clinical volunteering and perhaps getting a research assistant position where you have patient contact, to provide a better segueway into the clinical world. Good luck!

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