Approaching the question “Why MD-PhD”

Posted by Maya T. on 6/4/21 12:00 PM

The “Why MD-PhD?” question should be approached thoughtfully and well in advance in order to best explain your career aspirations and unique journey. Let’s dive into some dos and don’ts about approaching this classic interview question!

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Tags: MD/PhD admissions

Planning for Medical School Applications: Letters of Recommendation

Posted by Lara E. on 4/28/21 12:00 PM

For me, letters of recommendation were one of the most stressful parts of the application process. I had so many questions. Whom should I ask? When should I ask? Should I provide my recommenders with suggestions about what to include in their letters? Is it awkward for me to nudge letter writers about approaching deadlines? 

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Tags: MD/PhD admissions

4 things to know about applying for an MD-PhD in the social sciences

Posted by Dana V. on 4/19/21 12:00 PM

Albert Einstein once said, “The greatest scientists are artists as well.” Many of these great scientists are “non-traditional” MD-PhDs: doctors who pursued their PhD in the social sciences or the humanities instead of the typical life sciences. If you’re interested in taking this road less traveled, start by asking yourself these four questions: 

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Tags: MD/PhD admissions

How to make the most of the two weeks before your MCAT

Posted by Abigail K. on 4/12/21 2:16 PM

I’ve always been someone who gets caught between cycles of procrastination and wild activity when a deadline is impending. The MCAT was no different for me; however, I really made the most out of those two weeks leading up to my exam date. With the right study execution, the final two weeks can be used to sharpen your exam-taking skills, leading to extra points that can’t be gained from studying the science alone. 

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Tags: MD/PhD admissions, MCAT

Making your personal statement stand out in just the first two lines

Posted by Michael M. on 3/26/21 1:30 PM

A personal statement is the best (and sometimes only) chance you have to make your application jump off the page. Even if you have outstanding test scores, those scores alone do not guarantee you admission. Which brings us to the personal statement, your chance to show your readers how engaging you are, how you are a future leader in your field, and how you’re an inspired applicant to invest in. This is where you can politely scream, “Look at me, I am uniquely qualified and my narrative is exactly what you want precisely because it doesn’t look like everyone else’s!” 

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Tags: college admissions, admissions coaching, MD/PhD admissions, graduate admissions

“Tell me about your research”

Posted by Vera T. on 3/17/21 12:15 PM

If you did any research work at all before applying to medical school, you are likely to encounter this question. And if you apply to MD/PhD, you will encounter it multiple times at every institution. So it’s especially worth your while to be prepared.

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

“If you had to choose a career outside of medicine, what would it be?”

Posted by David M. on 3/15/21 12:00 PM

It’s interview season. You’ve spent at least the past six months writing, writing, writing to convince admissions committees that medicine is the only possible career for you, the one that will allow you to fulfill your personal and professional goals, the one your passions have driven you towards. So what should you make of this common interview question?

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

"How would you contribute diversity to our medical school?"

Posted by Connie Z. on 3/8/21 12:00 PM

During the MD admissions process, this question is often dreaded, as applicants reminisce on the mundaneness of premed requirements and volunteer experiences. As with questions of, "What are your strengths?", "Why should we accept you?", and "What makes you unique?", applicants may fear coming off too arrogant and self-promoting. In all these questions, the interviewer is trying to get a sense of how you would add to the medical school class and what unique perspectives you can bring. Instead of dreading this question, take this as an opportunity to highlight something that may not be apparent in your application or to emphasize what drives you and all that you've accomplished!

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

How to tackle multiple mini interviews

Posted by Dhruv P. on 2/24/21 12:00 PM

Multiple mini interviews, commonly referred to as MMIs, are a major interview component in the MD admissions process. According to the AAMC, “the MMI is designed to measure competencies like oral communication, social and non-verbal skills, and teamwork that are important indicators of how an applicant will interact with patients and colleagues as a physician.” The format of MMIs ensures that no single interviewer’s opinions about an applicant are over-emphasized. Additionally, these interviews are usually closed file, meaning that the interviewers have not read applicant primary or secondary applications prior to the interview. The interview itself consists of a variety of stations, each with its own prompt and evaluator. Schools test everything from critical thinking, to knowledge about the current healthcare system, to having applicants role-play complex situations with professional actors. Regardless of the specific topic, it’s best to prepare for a variety of stations. 

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

Why do you need an MD and a PhD?

Posted by Elliot on 2/10/21 12:00 PM

Applying to MD-PhD programs is always about striking a balance.  As an aspiring physician-scientist, you are in a unique situation that is necessarily distinct from straight MD and straight PhD applicants.  Being able to tactfully and thoughtfully navigate this balance is fundamental to being a successful MD-PhD applicant, particularly during the interview phase of the application process.

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Tags: MD/PhD admissions