Bench to the Bedside: MD/PhD Student Interview

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Session 40

Bench to the Bedside: MD/PhD Student Interview

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.

MD/PhD programs:

[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
She spent a solid month working on her personal statement.Click To Tweet

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.

Get research experience as soon as possible to figure out if it's something you like to do. Click To Tweet

Links and Other Resources