What is the difference between a premed with 3 years research experience, and an MD/PhD applicant?

Itsmine

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If an average pre-med has 3 years research experience in a lab and are just applying to med school.

And an MD/PhD applicant having 3 years research experiences, applying to MD/PhD.

Is there a difference? Can any average pre-med with that much research experience apply MD/PhD last minute?
 

mTORC

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I think it's mostly the applicants' internal differences; assuming equal stats and research experiences, the motivation to invest a large portion of time to get both degrees is the only thing that separates the two groups.

In reality, the stats for MD/PhD applicants are much higher. Also, science letters of recommendation are specifically geared towards commenting on their potential to be a physician-scientist.

I guess it depends what you mean by "last minute", but applying MD/PhD also involves 1) extra essays 2) extra secondary essays 3) more time interviewing.
 
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Itsmine

Itsmine

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I think it's mostly the applicants' internal differences; assuming equal stats and research experiences, the motivation to invest a large portion of time to get both degrees is the only thing that separates the two groups.

In reality, the stats for MD/PhD applicants are much higher. Also, science letters of recommendation are specifically geared towards commenting on their potential to be a physician-scientist.

I guess it depends what you mean by "last minute", but applying MD/PhD also involves 1) extra essays 2) extra secondary essays 3) more time interviewing.
I am just wondering what the difference is between the average applicants of the MD pool that have 3 years of research, and applicants of the MD/PhD pool.

I see lots of threads with MDPhD applicants who have only a few EC's, such as research and shadowing/volunteering. However, I see lots of MD threads where people have it all: research, shadowing, volunteering, leadership, non clinical volunteering, etc. So I am just wondering what the catch is. If the MD applicants have more EC's than the MD/PhD applicants, then is it easier to get into an MD/PhD program?
 

gutonc

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I am just wondering what the difference is between the average applicants of the MD pool that have 3 years of research, and applicants of the MD/PhD pool.

I see lots of threads with MDPhD applicants who have only a few EC's, such as research and shadowing/volunteering. However, I see lots of MD threads where people have it all: research, shadowing, volunteering, leadership, non clinical volunteering, etc. So I am just wondering what the catch is. If the MD applicants have more EC's than the MD/PhD applicants, then is it easier to get into an MD/PhD program?
A lot of it is what is meant by research. Sure, most pre-meds have "research" in their file, usually a project where they're helping out a post-doc a few hours a week. The MD/PhD applicants tend to have their own project(s) and work on the order of 15-30 hours/week.
 
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DrCharlemagne

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MD/PhD candidates tend to plan on doing science for the rest of their careers, and consequently have entire projects that they helm, papers they've written and posters they've presented. This will seriously cut into your sleep schedule OP, and it will diminish your earning power. For the love of science, stay out of the lab until you find your passion.
 

Fencer

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Agree with above. MD applicants aim to be balanced with 500+ hrs of clinical experiences and some areas of research to be rounded. MD/PhD applicants only need 50-100 hrs of clinical experiences and A LOT OF RESEARCH. Motivations and career paths are very different. In general, the average MD applicant has a lower MCAT/GPA than the average MD/PhD applicant.

Here is real data from the 2012 cycle:
MD applicants/matriculants - https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/2012factstable18.pdf
MD/PhD applicants/matriculants - https://www.aamc.org/download/321548/data/2012factstable35.pdf
 
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Agree with above. MD applicants aim to be balanced with 500+ hrs of clinical experiences and some areas of research to be rounded. MD/PhD applicants only need 50-100 hrs of clinical experiences and A LOT OF RESEARCH. Motivations and career paths are very different. In general, the average MD applicant has a lower MCAT/GPA than the average MD/PhD applicant.

Here is real data from the 2012 cycle:
MD applicants/matriculants - https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/2012factstable18.pdf
MD/PhD applicants/matriculants - https://www.aamc.org/download/321548/data/2012factstable35.pdf
Thanks for the link! I cannot believe that there was someone with an MCAT score of 4 that actually applied for MD/PhD programs. And, I also cannot believe that someone with a 21 MCAT got accepted into an MD/PhD program.
 
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Thanks for the link! I cannot believe that there was someone with an MCAT score of 4 that actually applied for MD/PhD programs. And, I also cannot believe that someone with a 21 MCAT got accepted into an MD/PhD program.
Thats pretty surprising. Especially for an MD-PhD program. I suppose not everyone is a good test-taker.

To OP, the emphasis on the research project and scientific question pursued I feel is the primary difference, as noted above by others.