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Why MD/PhD? Why not just MD or PhD?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by computerdorkdan, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. computerdorkdan

    computerdorkdan Cool dude 2+ Year Member

    May 15, 2007
    Since we'll all be hit with this one (I assume) in our interviews I wonder if anyone has come up with any good or exceptionally bad answers to this question?
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  3. GliaGirl

    GliaGirl 5+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Bad answer: Because I haven't made up my mind about my career yet. I'd be doing an MD/PhD/JD program is they offered it.

    Bad answer: Because I don't want to pay for medical school.

    Bad answer: I'm applying for what program? Oh dear, I seem to have checked the wrong box on my AMCAS application.

    Bad answer: I don't know... I figured I'd try it out and see if I liked it. If not, you're an MSTP and can't make me pay you back, right?

    Good answer: Because I am extremely committed to becoming a physician scientist and look forward to receiving formal training in both medicine and research in order to have a long and productive career. I believe that taking research from the bench to the bedside and back again is the best way to accelerate the progress of modern medical research. Etc etc blah blah blah.

    Funny story: At my revisit to Tufts I was one of three people. One of them decided right before dinner that she didn't want to do an MSTP program and just peaced out. Her parents came and picked her up and she just left. It was like the first day of summer camp or something. The program director was like... WTF? So please have your mind made up BEFORE you waste hundreds of dollars of tax payer money. kthnx.
  4. dmblue

    dmblue 5+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2008
  5. tyE

    tyE 2+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2007
    I think what interests me is that medicine has always seemed to sort of wait for science. For instance how long until we used math and other sciences for diagnostics like the thermometer that was around for 200 years before we used it on people. Medicine has always interested me, but I am becoming more fascinated with how basic science is used to make protocols and is expanding what we know in treating people. At this point, before I've had too much experience it is simply something I want to be apart of.
  6. sleepy425

    sleepy425 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    haha, that's the best MSTP story I've heard! oh, and I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the good and bad answers.
  7. FSAP

    FSAP Foreigner 10+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    Hey, at least she didn't wait till M2. It took balls to walk out like that.
  8. itsallthesame

    itsallthesame 2+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    just to be cynical: i'm pretty sure the mstp fellowship that schools receive doesn't cover revisit expenses (therefore not necessarily tax payer wasted money but probably student tuition wasted money) and i'm almost positive that tufts isn't spendings hundreds of thousands of dollars on their revisits... but if so... do they accept transfers?!

    also... come on... who doesn't waste hundreds/thousands of dollars of tax payer money every month in the lab? so what's cashing in on a free dinner every now and again? at least said person probably PAID taxes... plenty of people getting free dinner without putting anything in...
  9. gstrub

    gstrub Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    I think they are talking about the waste of taxpayer money to train you if you are not interested in academic medicine in the first place.

    But looking at the news recently I think there are far more egregious violations of our tax dollars in the works than training a few wayward medical students...
  10. itsallthesame

    itsallthesame 2+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    answers that i would actually believe:

    1) because I don't feel like paying for med school
    2) because I am incredibly narcissistic
    3) because I really, really enjoy pain
    4) to say a big F U to all those idiot high school teachers that used to give me C's for not bothering with homework or MLA format
    5) because it's hard
    6) because I don't have a clue what I really want to do with my life, but I kinda like being in school
    7) because I like research but getting into grad school is too easy
    8) because I like the idea of being in med school but don't feel like spending a zillion hours shadowing and doing "community service" or sucking up to pre-med committees
    9) because I want to be like house, but i'm better at research than orgo
  11. computerdorkdan

    computerdorkdan Cool dude 2+ Year Member

    May 15, 2007
    I think I'll change my MD/PhD essay now.
  12. witness23

    witness23 2+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2009
    haha, OP, I wanna know what you think the "answer" is
  13. haha I love this. I've cut out the fat and left what is essentially a summary of my "why MD-PhD" essay.
  14. GliaGirl

    GliaGirl 5+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    I can't tell if you're joking about that being what you said in your essay or not. Just in case: if it is, I would SERIOUSLY rethink your choices.
  15. I kid I kid.

    But seriously, the question posted in this thread really bothers me...I need a better answer I feel. Something more specific that really shows that I am committed. Perhaps actions can show my commitment better though.
  16. GliaGirl

    GliaGirl 5+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    You bring up a good point, in that it is very important to figure out your reasons. Having both a lot of research and clinical experience (mostly research) is the best way to show your interest on paper, but once it comes around to writing your essay and doing interviews, you need to have a consistent, believable, and most importantly TRUE answer for why you want to do it. I was told at a few of my interviews that the real reason behind interviews is (1) to make sure you aren't crazy or hard to get along with and (2) to make sure that you were being honest on your application. That means that consistency in your answers can be very important to some people. Don't lie to the admissions committee or to yourself, because it will backfire in a big way. If the real reason actually IS that you want to make more money than a PhD would or you don't want to have to pay for medical school, you should save everyone a lot of heart ache and wasted time by stopping now.
  17. GliaGirl, thanks your words have reassured me. Sitting here it is hard for me to see why I want to do MD-PhD but looking at the past 3 years of what I've done with my life I think everything points to MD-PhD.

    I guess the best advice is what you gave:

    1) don't try to be someone you're not
    2) know yourself/your app better than anyone
  18. Aptamer

    Aptamer Senior Member 15+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    reason 4 is why i'm doing it...not really...well, maybe :laugh:
  19. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd Administrator Physician PhD Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2002
    the beach
    1) Bench to bedside and bedside to bench. I hope I don't need to spell this out.

    2) MD/PhD programs provide training in #1 from day one.

    and if the reviewer is still unconvinced:

    3) Many believe there is value in having MDs who understand and perform research for patient-oriented bench or translational research. Medical school is too expensive for someone committed to a research pathway, given that the MD-only researcher will also need extensive experienece later.

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