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What should I do?

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benjjang751

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Hey all,:laugh:

Thank you for reading my thread.

I have recently decided to apply for MD/Phd program.
I am a senior in Baylor University, not a great school I guess, with GPA of 3.9 and 32 MCAT (8/13/11 (VS/PS/BS)).
Although I am a US citizen, English is not my first language, so I believe it is impossible for me to get higher MCAT scores.
Although I have only a year and a summer worth of research experience, I have one poster presentation, one review paper, and a first co-authorship publication pending. Other things are pretty typical I guess. (Great LOR, 100+ hospital volunteering, 100+ community volunteering, some leadership postions, awards, scholarships, dean's list and etc.)
As reading threads from this forum, I realized that my scores are not good enough to qualify as a competetive applicant or even a decent applicant...:mad:

In a realistic perspective, I am pretty sure if I get accepted to ANY MD/PhD programs it would be lower-tier schools. But, if I apply as MD-only applicant, I might have a shot at UTSW or Baylor since I am a Texas resident.

Thus, here are my questions.
1. Should I choose to apply for MD/PhD joint program or MD-only and then get PhD later?

2. Would it be smart for me to turn down a lower tier MD/PhD program and take an offer from better medical school with MD-only acceptance? (For example, since I am in Texas, if I get accepted from Texas-Tech MD/PhD program and also MD-only from Baylor, then which offer should I take?)

3. I am asking these questions since I have seen some people who turned down MD only interview offers from top schools and agreed to go to mid-tier schools for MD/PhD program, which I could not understand at all. I am sure there could be different reasons, but I do not understand their decision since I think they can finish their MD and then get their PhD later on. I guess there is a good reason behind these decisions since I have seen quite a bit of people who decided to turn down a MD-only interview. What could be the reason behind this?

So, I hope you guys can answer some of my questions and also comment on what I should do to become a better applicant would be appreciated.

Thank you for reading my thread and sorry for some grammatical errors,

P.S - I love Texas-Tech! Don't get me wrong:thumbup:
 

reine1jb

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While I understand your situation, going to a school for MD-only instead of a school for MD/PhD based on rankings is kind of foolish. I can understand that everyone wants to go to a harvard, or yale or whatever other schools are in the top ten but schools that you would say are "low-tier" are institutions that have tons of great research opportunities. Doing an MD first and then doing a PhD after would take a lot more time and would be a lot more complicated than doing the joint degree program.
Not many people want to say this outright but think about it. You would probably be a quarter of a million dollars in debt by the time you finished your MD program, then you would have to do your residency if you really wanted to practice. Then if you wanted your PhD after that you would be making pennies as a graduate student compared to what you would be making as a clinician, so the likely hood of you going back to do your PhD in my opinion would be low. Whereas if you do the MD/Phd you get your MD with very minimal debt and you actually make some money. Granted you should not do an MD/PhD program just for that reason but that doesn't sound like your question so don't bother with that.

Bear in mind that you can still do great research with just an MD. Many people do but if you want the formal research training as a PhD candidate then I for one would choose an MD/PhD acceptance over a MD only acceptance anyday. With your stats you are not uncompetitive, yes many MD/PhD candidates have like a 35 avg or whatever but I would think having great research experience is one of the most crucial factors. I think adcoms would realize your situation and maybe (this is just a guess) be ok with your VR score because as you stated, english is not your primary language...

just my opinion i'm sure you'll get many more soon...
 

benjjang751

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Thank you so much for your comment!
More comments would be appreciated.
:thumbup:
 

clover86

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I really would not worry so much about your scores. There are MD-PhD applicants with 40, 4.0, but there are also many with lower scores who have been successful. If you really want to do an MD-PhD, by all means apply MD-PhD. As far as the tier of the school, it really comes down to what you'll be satisfied with, but as long as you have good research experience, the type of school to which you'd be accepted MD shouldn't be vastly different from that of a school that would take you MD-PhD.

Just my two cents. Good luck!
 

FoxTrot12

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I'm still early in this process myself but here are my two cents from what I've picked up along the way...

I agree with what others have said, if you are really interested in an MD/PhD it should be the research that matters, not the ranking. I understand that rankings are there for a reason and often correlate to important factors such as funding, research opportunities, and residency placement but from what I've seen many of these same advantages can be found at smaller, or "lower tier" schools as well. Even at smaller schools those graduating from MD/PhD programs with decent grades/scores have no trouble getting the residency of their choice and there are many many wonderful, well funded research projects all over if you are willing to put in the time and look. I think forgetting about rankings for a bit and really considering what you want both in terms of MD vs. MD/PhD and research focus would pay off in the long run.

Hope this has been a bit helpful. Best of luck!! :)
 

gbwillner

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Hey all,:laugh:

Thank you for reading my thread.

I have recently decided to apply for MD/Phd program.
I am a senior in Baylor University, not a great school I guess, with GPA of 3.9 and 32 MCAT (8/13/11 (VS/PS/BS)).
Although I am a US citizen, English is not my first language, so I believe it is impossible for me to get higher MCAT scores.
Although I have only a year and a summer worth of research experience, I have one poster presentation, one review paper, and a first co-authorship publication pending. Other things are pretty typical I guess. (Great LOR, 100+ hospital volunteering, 100+ community volunteering, some leadership postions, awards, scholarships, dean's list and etc.)
As reading threads from this forum, I realized that my scores are not good enough to qualify as a competetive applicant or even a decent applicant...:mad:

In a realistic perspective, I am pretty sure if I get accepted to ANY MD/PhD programs it would be lower-tier schools. But, if I apply as MD-only applicant, I might have a shot at UTSW or Baylor since I am a Texas resident.

Thus, here are my questions.
1. Should I choose to apply for MD/PhD joint program or MD-only and then get PhD later?

2. Would it be smart for me to turn down a lower tier MD/PhD program and take an offer from better medical school with MD-only acceptance? (For example, since I am in Texas, if I get accepted from Texas-Tech MD/PhD program and also MD-only from Baylor, then which offer should I take?)

3. I am asking these questions since I have seen some people who turned down MD only interview offers from top schools and agreed to go to mid-tier schools for MD/PhD program, which I could not understand at all. I am sure there could be different reasons, but I do not understand their decision since I think they can finish their MD and then get their PhD later on. I guess there is a good reason behind these decisions since I have seen quite a bit of people who decided to turn down a MD-only interview. What could be the reason behind this?

So, I hope you guys can answer some of my questions and also comment on what I should do to become a better applicant would be appreciated.

Thank you for reading my thread and sorry for some grammatical errors,

P.S - I love Texas-Tech! Don't get me wrong:thumbup:


I am an 8th Yr MSTP student at a top 10 school, and I find your post ridiculous. Your scores are more than acceptable for a top program. IF you get that paper, you'll be way ahead of your colleagues. If you don't get into a top program, it won't be because of your stats.
 

j-weezy

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I am an 8th Yr MSTP student at a top 10 school, and I find your post ridiculous. Your scores are more than acceptable for a top program. IF you get that paper, you'll be way ahead of your colleagues. If you don't get into a top program, it won't be because of your stats.

Keepin' it real!!

to the OP: When I was at Penn the directors made a very valid point - getting into an MD/PhD program is NOT the end of the journey, merely one stepping stone on the way to life as a physician-scientist. Although the advantages of going to a highly ranked school or an ivy can be debated ad nauseam what really matters is that while you're in your medical/graduate years you do the best job you can and are in a great lab working on an awesome project.

Yes those things can be quite subjective. It's easy to get into the 'pre-allo' mindset and think that only USNEWS top 10 programs are acceptable. But if you think about your area of research that list of schools may change drastically.

Because of my research interests there are several schools ranked below the 'top 10' that I find more desirable.

So apply MD/PhD if that's what you want to do and just apply carefully taking into account your research interests, location, and competitiveness.



wow that was long - sorry for the rambling!

-j
 

mdphd2b

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Benjiang751,

You should not get caught up in the med school rankings. Instead, try focusing on your reseaerch field of interest, then look up information on that particular graduate program at each school. Talk to potential lab mentors and current grad students. For instance, at my program (U of Pittsburgh), there are very strong graduate programs in bioengineering, neuroscience, immunology, and pathology. Cell biology and physiology are not so high.

Looking back at my years of MD-PhD training, there's not much to change about the MD part. Hours of long-forgottern lectures and boring PBLs are all that stand out from the first 2 years :sleep: (LOL..This should be a new thread: "When I was a med student"...cox2 inhibitors were given out like candy...). All you REALLY need to be a doctor you will START to learn in the last 2 years of med school, and the rest depends on strong residency training. But your PhD lab and mentor will highly influence the way you decide your own career moves as a physician-scientist, so choose well! :luck:
 
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