Appalachian Trail thru-hiker turned MD/PhD hopeful- looking for advice!

Forums OldPreMeds General Discussion OPM Diaries Appalachian Trail thru-hiker turned MD/PhD hopeful- looking for advice!

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by pocketdoc18 October 24, 2018 at 8:34 am.

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    Hi everyone! I’m a new binge-listener to the Old Premed podcast and am so grateful to have found this supportive community because I recently experienced one of those serendipitous moments of clarity that I want to pursue a career as an MD/PhD. I have a strong background in basic research, but want to work more translationally with patients and to directly see the impact of the research I’m doing. I am currently studying and planning to take the MCAT in April of 2019 with the intention of applying to MD/PhD programs in June 2019. I feel okay with my academic standing, I graduated in 2017 with a 3.7 GPA (cumulative and science) with a degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. I just started my MCAT studying and got a 501 on the Next Step Diagnostic test. Now, I feel more comfortable knowing the content I need to prioritize in terms of re-learning. I am currently continuing on my research-heavy path as a full-time research technician at Tufts University.

    I was inspired to pursue a career as an MD/PhD when I received exemplary care after breaking my ankle while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail this spring. When reflecting on all of the people who helped me get off the trail, to the hospital, through my surgery, and now well into recovery, I am so grateful. It planted the seed that has made me want to use my energy to care for others while tackling the important research questions that will leave a lasting impact on the field of medicine. Now what I need is to figure out how much I need to do in order to have a strong application….

    My biggest concern at the moment is that because I never had any intention of going to medical school, I don’t have any shadowing hours and my “clinical” experience is limited to being a Wilderness First Responder in college. I worked for the outdoors program where I led backpacking/kayaking/rock climbing trips and was medically responsible for the participants. I’ve handled a few minor incidents on these trips, but mostly it was taping up blisters on people’s feet. I was wondering how MD/PhD programs look at clinical vs research experience. I still think I need experience in a hospital setting, but I’m unsure on how it differs between an MD/PhD program and other med school applications. I am sure that I could find opportunities for shadowing/volunteer clinical hours through Tufts or other Boston hospitals, but I need to work it out between work, MCAT prep, and physical therapy appointments for my ankle. Do you think that trying to accomplish all of these things would be too much of a rush job to get all of this in for applications next spring? Any thoughts/help is appreciated!!

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