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installation2020

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Hello!

I am having trouble finding the MD/PhD-specific academic calendar for multiple programs — does anyone have insights on when most programs start? I am planning my wedding for May or June of next year (2022), and would preferably want to get married between ending my current position and starting a program.

Thanks!
 

FalconSlice

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Hello!

I am having trouble finding the MD/PhD-specific academic calendar for multiple programs — does anyone have insights on when most programs start? I am planning my wedding for May or June of next year (2022), and would preferably want to get married between ending my current position and starting a program.

Thanks!
It varies based on the different school systems. However, many require (or strongly encourage) a rotation during the summer/early fall before medical school actually starts. This could range any time from May all the way to August since most med schools start orientation in August.

That being said, go ahead and plan your wedding. No one is going to do anything when a major pre-planned life event happens. Priorities, man. Just figure out details after you're accepted. I'm on the other side now, and I am realizing how much of a nothing-burger this is. This program changes you lol.

And, btw, congrats on your wedding!
Best of luck
FS
 
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StIGMA

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I do not recommend summer lab rotations for your first summer unless you're dying to do it (it's the lowest yield time to do it, compared to between M1/2 and following M2).

Just start with the rest of the M1s (whenever orientation begins for your medical school) and enjoy your last free summer & establishing a foundation for a good married relationship.
 
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Fencer

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I disagree with @StIGMA. It depends on the program schedule and its culture. About half of my students choose their eventual supervising professor after doing that summer laboratory rotation. It allows them to contribute during the M1/2 years. While often they start working on someone else project, it adds them into a publication from the lab earlier than otherwise, giving them a better chance for a NIH Fellowship award and to complete in 7 years. Now, this is your own race to dual-degree, residency and beyond. Each student has their own circumstances. The most important decision of a physician-scientist is selecting their significant-other, and then earn their support to your career goals as PS. Talk to your program director about this event. We have granted exceptions or reduce the duration of the rotation...
 
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StIGMA

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I disagree with @StIGMA. It depends on the program schedule and its culture. About half of my students choose their eventual supervising professor after doing that summer laboratory rotation. It allows them to contribute during the M1/2 years. While often they start working on someone else project, it adds them into a publication from the lab earlier than otherwise, giving them a better chance for a NIH Fellowship award and to complete in 7 years. Now, this is your own race to dual-degree, residency and beyond. Each student has their own circumstances. The most important decision of a physician-scientist is selecting their significant-other, and then earn their support to your career goals as PS. Talk to your program director about this event. We have granted exceptions or reduce the duration of the rotation...
1) my advice was to the OP (not for everyone)

2) I’ve seen students taken advantage of during this time. I was aggressively pursued by a PI as a very fresh M1 (taken out to dinners, introduced to entire department) because I would have been a “free” graduate student and only after getting more “mentoring” got the hard sell to join his lab. I was then completely ignored once I said I wasn’t going to join. He was subsequently reprimanded for this sort of behavior.

It’s the most vulnerable time since (pre) M1s don’t know their new school, have not spent much time with senior students, and largely do not want to disappoint superiors. Even if the culture of a place is excellent (this was a top place) individuals within the system can be manipulative and deceitful.

I think students just starting need to be careful and aware of different things that could be going on with regards to student recruitment to labs. Not everyone (read: almost noone) has their best interest in mind. During MD/PhD interviews at one top-20 school, the Program Director! Of all people was aggressively marketing his lab to applicants. Just because a student joins that first lab doesn’t doesn’t mean it was the best long-term career choice.

It really doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things to do a summer rotation or not. 1/3 of my class graduated in 7 years and none of them did Pre-M1 rotations. I’m not aware of any data to support faster graduation for preM1 rotations.
 
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eteshoe

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I would enjoy your last summer OP. It's unlikely that every experiment is going to work during your PhD - in fact its more likely that you will go down false paths before things start to come together. I say all that since you've chosen one of the longest paths in medicine (I would say thinking you'll finish in 7 years is more of a waste of your time).

You will grow and your priorities and motivations will evolve over the course of the program. So enjoy the ride of your PhD and work hard because life moves forward whether you engage in it or not. Your goal should be to become the strongest scientist you can be w/i a reasonable time frame. I've had a few friends burn themselves out trying to make some arbitrary cut point.
 
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