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In today’s episode, I talk with Hanna about MD/PhD programs, along with the many other dual-degree programs such as MD/MPH, MD/MBA, and more. Even DO schools have many options for dual-degree programs.
Hanna is currently starting her first year in her MD/PhD program, and she talks about what her life is like. Hanna has had an interesting path, being a late premed. We will also discuss some differences in the application process between applying to an MD/PhD program versus a normal MD program.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
- Generally called the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) funded through the NIH
- Regulated structure
- 2 years of medical school, 4 years of PhD, 2 years of medical school
[Related episode: Do You Need an MD/PhD to Do Research as a Physician?]
Hanna’s path to the MD/PhD program:
- Her parents as a big influence for her to get into medicine
- Studying pharmacy in high school (out of rebellion) and liking research in college
- Getting into a research lab in a cancer center
- Finding out about the MD/PhD program two days before taking her GRE
- Signing up for the MCAT
- Meeting the director of the MD/PhD program at her campus
- Doing volunteering and research
- Spending a solid month working on her personal statement
[click_to_tweet tweet=”She spent a solid month working on her personal statement.” quote=”She spent a solid month working on her personal statement.”]
Studying for the MCAT:
- Going back to the questions she got wrong, taking notes on why she got them wrong, and repeating the section a few days later
- Getting a 35! (with one month of studying, never taking a full practice test)
- Taking extensive coursework that helped with her MCAT
[Related post: Best MCAT Course (with a Promo Code).]
Applying to MD programs versus applying to MD/PhD programs:
- Writing three personal statements: 1 for research, 1 for combined MD/PhD, and 1 for MD
- Secondary applications have MD/PhD-specific questions
Choosing medical schools to apply to:
- Only applying to MSTP programs to be able to get funding from the NIH
- Choosing locations and looking into those that have the research she wanted to do
Her MD/PhD interview experience:
- Multiple interview/one-on-one interview days (eight 30-minute interviews)
- Panel interview (short interview, less about medicine, more on research)
[Related episode: 5 Biggest Mistakes Students Make During an MMI Interview.]
Some pieces of advice for premed students who want to pursue an MD/PhD path:
Get research experience as soon as possible to figure out if it’s something you like to do. If you do, it will also help to build your research experience early.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Get research experience as soon as possible to figure out if it’s something you like to do. ” quote=”Get research experience as soon as possible to figure out if it’s something you like to do. “]
Links and Other Resources
- Follow Hanna on Instagram and Twitter.
- Hanna’s Blog, MD/PhD to Be
- Related episode: Can I Start an MD/PhD Program at an Older Age?
- Related episode: MD/PhD Program Director Shares What You Need.
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