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Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by Athena25, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Athena25

    Athena25 Junior Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    Hey guys!
    I need some advice/consoling/support/what have you about applying (and hopefully attending) the medical school that i want to. i would like to be accepted to the top MD/Phd programs in the nation. Although I haven't really done my research, I would like to either attend Harvard, Wash U, Standford, or the Mayo (in MN). So, what would you consider my best options are. I have a 3.5 GPA right now at Harvard, haven't taken the MCATs (i'm a rising junior, and will take them in the spring of next year), currently doing neurophysiology research, and have great extracurricular activities (run varsity track, president of the women's leadership project, secretary of a community service project, and more). What are my chances? Are there any other schools out there that i should look into?
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  3. sluox

    sluox Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    :D Calm down my friend. A friend of a friend of mine got into multiple MD/PHD programs with 3.3 GPA. the catch--MCAT: 40. So STUDY!! BTW, as far as I know, research experience is the most important thing (ie. forget about other extracurriculars) for MSTP, so WORK!!

    I know (of) two kids from university of maryland baltimore county who got HMS's MSTP programs. Both of them had 4.0 GPA and one had a cover article on JMB on the structural biology of HIV. (though this one is just a review article...i personally didn't think too much of and my arrogance. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> ) The other guy had three articles on public health, and is an URM. One other guy from Dartmouth has a ~3.9 GPA and a Goldwater scholarship. So that's around the level of candidates HMS wants. You can give yourself a rough estimate. Don't fret though, and talk to your advisor, I know Harvard has a good advising service.

    Also, realize that you have many options besides the four schools that you've listed. Stanford, contrary to what you think, isn't all that great. (Damn am I arrogant or what today?) Also Stanford and Mayo are both really small and selective programs. Stanford, for instance, is more selective than Harvard.

    Just remember it's a really random game. It's a lifetime thing eh? Remember two years ago when you got into Harvard and thought you'd be set for the rest of your life? Dream on. Your life probably won't even be set if you got into HMS.

    Anyway, just my incoherent reply...please, no offense intended.
  4. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    I agree with a lot of what sluox said already. I'll just add that although it sounds like you've done some really neat extracurricular activites, you really shouldn't set your heart on any one particular school. The admissions process, even for highly qualified applicants, is unfortunately very random. Moreover, there are many programs that you didn't list that are excellent ones to consider. Research is a huge part of MD/PhD admissions. Work on something substantial, know your work well, and be able to communicate it effectively. Also, it helps to have some presentation experience (oral, posters, etc) and publications can't hurt either (although are not necessary). Additionally, you want to get excellent letters of recommendation from your PI and other professors.

    I think you get the idea that there are many facets of the MD/PhD application and each must be as bright and shining as possible.

    Good luck and if you have any specific questions, please let me know. :D
  5. jot


    your extracurrics are really great; the varsity track will take you farther than you think (or maybe you know) - a friend of mine ran varsity track there (mens) and has gone on to good things (his friend who was also on the team with him is md/phd at harvard). make sure you take advantage of the vast resources there, the director of a good mstp program said that they look to see if you have maximized your resources; i'm sure being at harvard already won't hurt. i'm safe guarding my mental health by not getting attached to any one school, it seems like doing that isn't the best idea (like vader and sluox said). there are so many amazing schools out there, its hardly making a concession by looking elsewhere as well. whatever though, no harm in aiming high, you won't do shabby by falling a little short. goodluck to you, i'm sure you'll do well.
  6. brandonite

    brandonite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2001
    Manitoba, Canada
    I think you should be very well set. A great school, a decent GPA, and strong ECs. Make sure that you are able to really talk about your research. If possible, try to take the initiative in a few research projects. Talk to your PI - ask questions, maybe mention a few things you can do on your own and try to make your research as independent as possible. That is something I wish I had started to do a while ago. I had the opinion that because I was the junior person in the lab, I should keep my mouth quiet and do what I was supposed to. But most investigators really want you to ask questions and get the most out of your laboratory experience. And that will be immeasurably helpful when you go to apply.
  7. JJ4

    JJ4 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    I agree too :D

    You're EC's and the likelihood of exposure to an excellent research atmosphere will make you stand out immensely. Just keep up the good work and learn as much as you can in your research endeavors.

    As for other schools -- like Vader said -- there are many excellent research institutions you can look into (UCSF, Hopkins, Cornell Tri-Institutional, UCSD, Duke, UMich to name a FEW). Broaden your options and look into programs that fit your tastes (keeping in mind things outside of research as well).

    With that said -- if there is anything you wanna know about the program at Mayo please don't hesistate to ask -- I'd be glad to help :D
  8. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    You do seem pretty well set if you can get a nice MCAT score, but with those stats, you could probably get into an MSTP with a 30. I don't know much about top schools, other than that you need to apply to other ones along with them.
  9. Athena25

    Athena25 Junior Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    I feel a lot better. I guess i just got wound up reading all these posts from people who did really well in school and on their MCATs. I'm sure it will all work out somehow. The college admissions process doesn't even compare to the medical school admissions process. :) Anyway, thanks for the advice. I really like the research that i'm doing right now, so I guess i'll just have to dive right into it as well as try and ace those mcats!!!!!!

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