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M.D/Phd


Guest sweetmembrane

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Guest sweetmembrane

Hi,

I am doing a masters degree in science, and I was hoping to apply to medschool upon completion of my degree. My project is moving slowly, and I wont be able to complete my Masters in time for 2004 admission. I was thinking of completing a Phd, and then applying to medschool, or maybe apply to a M.D./Phd program. I don't think that my grades are competitive enough for an M.D./Phd, and also, I would not want to complete my M.D. in the same institution as my Phd. The only problem is that I want to complete my Phd in this institution. I would appreciate any advice you may have.

Thank you.

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Guest therealcrackers

here's what I did: I was in the same circumstance as you are now, in 1995. I applied for the 1996 medicine admissions cycle (while working on my Master's at U of T), and got an interview. When things didn't pan out, and I didn't get accepted to the MD/PhD program at U of T, I wrote a transfer exam and got into the PhD program. At the end of that long rainbow, I got accepted into UWO Meds and finished my thesis just in time at U of T -- I actually graduated from U of T 1 year into medicine because of the timing. I was interested in U of T meds at the time I was in my programs, but I am very happy with where I am in medicine now.

My suggestions are as follows: 1) make sure everyone on your program advisory committee knows your long-term goals include both medicine and research. That will same you a few headaches because the deadlines for research cycles and medicine admission cycles run COMPLETELY independently of each other. Let them know your deadlines.

2) Get an accurate assessment this fall of your project status --- and decide whether you want to apply for 2004 admission or wait another year based on that. Having six months or so to work in advance of going to meds would be great, whether it's research, teaching, tech jobs, etc.

3) Send enquiring e-mails/phone calls to the admissions offices of the med schools you are interested in (after school starts in September). Find out their requirements, and the value placed on graduate degrees by each institution (you may have already done that).

4) Think about where you want to be in 5 years, and in 10 years. I was in your shoes in 1995: 5 years from then, I was still working on my doctorate: 10 years from then, I will be a newly minted PhD, MD, ready to start residency, and keeping my finger in the research pie by doing clinical research and teaching (I hope!). Starting a family isn't as big a timing issue for men, but it still figures into the equation. If you want to do the research after clinical, programs like the surgical scientist and clinician scientist for medical residency (at U of T) are funded at resident salary levels, not graduate student levels. If it's the other way around, completing the PhD first is not a bad way to go.

 

It's not an easy decision. Gather input from people you trust, who know you well, both personally and with your science in mind. With this kind of long-range goal, at 10 years things even out a little, but what route you take can make your experience vastly different.

 

Good luck!

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Guest UTMed07

August 2004 is still far away--you still have over a year. If your project is going really slow and you feel you can't finish in two years (two years being usually time frame for a master's), talk to your supervisor.

 

There isn't a pot of gold at the end of every research proposal. Sometimes you can't control things in your project and you have to consider changing plans--that's research. If things seem more difficult than was initially thought, you ought to re-evaluate the goals of your project together with your supervisor.

 

I changed topics a bunch of months into my master's because I realized something that was beyond my control could totally blow my time frame. My supervisor was happy with this move because the project I jumped to was just sitting there any way.

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