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MSc and MD---how does it work?


lovestruck

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I applied to med school this year. I've also had about 4 grad school interviews and have found a lab I really like. How does it work when applying for both? The application for my lab is due August 1st 2011, so I am thinking I would have time to know the outcome of my med school application. But if I tell my potential supervisor I'd like to join his lab, is there some sort of paperwork/agreement that happens that states I can't back out of that? My supervisor knows I want to be a doctor in the end, although I haven't explicitly stated that I applied this year (I plan on telling him though). Am I able to pick MD essentially until I sign those MSc papers???

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It may depend on the school you're applying to, but I certainly did not have to sign any sort of document binding me to finishing my degree. Just like your undergrad (and med school, I suppose!) you can drop out of a graduate degree at any time.

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The best way is to talk to your potential supervisor and check on that department's policies. It's not wasteful to get as much informations about this before you have to make the decision. Remember, you can always back out of grad studies but med school interviewer loves to pick that out and ask lots of question. Hope you've got good answer, notes that the answer "because I love med school more" is not enough. Cheers mate.

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It may depend on the school you're applying to, but I certainly did not have to sign any sort of document binding me to finishing my degree. Just like your undergrad (and med school, I suppose!) you can drop out of a graduate degree at any time.

 

Can you actually drop out of grad studies? I heard some schools like UBC say that you have to finish your masters thesis before reapplying again...so what are you saying exactly? Fill me in

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I see how my post may have been misunderstood. The original poster is concerned that once starting grad school he/she will have to sign a document that binds him/her to finish the degree. I was just trying to stress the fact that when you start grad school there is no document you have to sign that binds you to completing your studies.

 

There are medical schools that will not accept students who would have to drop out of grad school to attend medical school. That is a medical school thing, not a graduate school thing. If I really wanted to I could drop out of grad school tomorrow. My supervisor certainly wouldn't like it, but he couldn't prevent me from doing it. If I were to get accepted to a med school that doesn't care whether students abandon graduate studies then there would be nothing stopping me from dropping out of grad school.

 

I hope that's more clear.

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I also think that the OP is talking about signing on to start an MSc for next September, but then ditching if they get in to med school in May (before starting the MSc). I don't see any reason you couldn't do that... You might burn a bridge with that supervisor, but that's it.

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I also think that the OP is talking about signing on to start an MSc for next September, but then ditching if they get in to med school in May (before starting the MSc). I don't see any reason you couldn't do that... You might burn a bridge with that supervisor, but that's it.

 

Even then, it wouldn't really be that big of a deal. I was in a situation where my 3rd choice master's program accepted me right away (same place I did my undergrad), my 2nd choice rejected me right away, and my 1st choice took several months to make their decision after I had been accepted to my 3rd choice. I just explained the situation to them and said that I would really like to get into this other place, but I won't know for a while, but that if I didn't get in, I'd like to stay and do my master's with them. They understood and were fine with it, and there was no awkwardness at all when 1st choice rejected me and I stayed at 3rd choice. This kind of thing really happens all the time when people are applying to grad school, and it's not a big deal. Just tell them that you're interested in their offer, but you can't commit until you hear back from the med schools (and possibly other grad schools) that you applied to. They know that people apply for more than one thing.

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Thanks for all your help! I've interviewed for 3 positions for grad school for fall 2011 (I know I'm doing it early but I like getting stuff planned early) and so far have gotten all 3! It's been a blessing and a curse since now I need to choose and reject 2 people which is just plain awkward! I just wanted to make sure that I can drop out of my MSc if med school works out this year.

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