Mdphd Admissions

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MD-PhD credentials: what do I need?
You’re interested in MD-PhD programs, but you want some more information about how to prepare and what the process looks like. Since the annual applicant pool is relatively small, this information can be hard to find, especially if you don’t attend a large research-oriented institution.
How to answer the interview question, What you do for fun?
"What do you do for fun?"   When I prep applicants for their medical school interviews, I can't help but grin to myself as I ask this question because of the nearly inevitably deer-in-the-headlight look that follows. Applicants are often woefully unprepared to talk about the things that they do just for enjoyment. And I get it: when I applied to ...
Why medicine?: how to answer this common MD interview question
For many applicants, the question, “Why medicine?” is an expected, yet challenging to answer when asked in an interview setting. Fortunately, you’ve likely reflected on this question when considering whether to apply to medical school and throughout the application process, particularly when writing your personal statement. But you might not have ...
Achieving the MCAT body of your dreams (part II)
Welcome back! If you missed part I of this post, please check it out here. Now that you've made an MCAT study schedule, adjusted your lifestyle, and figured out the fuel your body needs, you're probably wondering...
Approaching the question “Why MD-PhD”
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!
Planning for Medical School Applications: Letters of Recommendation
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? 
4 things to know about applying for an MD-PhD in the social sciences
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: 
How to make the most of the two weeks before your MCAT
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 ...
Making your personal statement stand out in just the first two lines
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, ...
“Tell me about your research”
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.
“If you had to choose a career outside of medicine, what would it be?”
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 ...
How would you contribute diversity to our medical school?
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 ...
How to tackle multiple mini interviews
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 ...
Why do you need an MD and a PhD?
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 ...
How to learn enzyme inhibition without memorizing facts
The MCAT contains LOTS of material that can often feel quite overwhelming. With this mountain before you, it can feel like the best thing to do is to memorize as many facts as possible to simply regurgitate on test day. I’m here to tell you: this isn’t your only option!
Apply to med school this year? Start your journey here.
Even though the application portal isn’t open for enrollment until the end of May, it is time to start preparing for medical school admissions!
How Sherlock can help you ace your MCAT: build a mind palace
If you’re a fan of BBC’s Sherlock, or have devoured Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, you’re probably wishing you had the memory prowess of Holmes. At least I sure did when I began my MCAT journey. Sherlock’s seemingly inhuman ability to recall even the most obscure details derives from a Roman legend about the poet Simonides of Ceos, who retraced ...
Three tips to make you a “prepared” medical school interviewee
Applying to medical school can be stressful, and many pre-med students worry about interview day in particular. But one of the most common interview mistakes occurs well before the questioning begins: a lack of preparation. Here are some tips to help you hone the content and message that you want to communicate on your interview day so that you ...
Three essential medical school interview tips
1. What do I talk about? Think through life experiences that have been meaningful to you; think about what emotions you felt during and after those experiences, what you learned, and how it impacted your perspective for the future.
How to send a cold email for research or shadowing in 5 easy steps
It can be daunting to reach out to a professor or doctor you’ve never met and ask to work with them or shadow them in a clinic. In this post, I’ve outlined how I like to approach cold-emailing research and clinical faculty, usually to great success.
Tips for crushing your MD/PhD interviews (written by an actual student interviewer!)
First, congratulations if you have received MD/PhD interview invitations! That’s huge. Be proud of yourself and get excited to visit your potential future school and colleagues. As a student interviewer of prospective applicants, here are my suggestions for acing your interviews:
Practice testing in the 520s? Boost your score into the 100 percentile
As a person who was practice testing in the 520-521 range with 2-3 weeks left of studying, I was content with my score; however, I had an idea that I could get to the 100 percentile range if I pushed myself and studied smart for the remaining few weeks. With some slight tweaks to my study plan, I was able to comfortably score in the 100th ...
Three tips to connect with your MD/PhD interviewer
So you’ve received an email inviting you for an MD/PhD interview. First of all – congratulations! You are one step closer to becoming a physician scientist.
Grad school standardized testing: to re-test or not to re-test?
So you got your score back from the standardized test you need to apply to graduate school, and you’re not thrilled. What now?
3 essential questions to nail down before an MD/PhD interview
Congrats on making it to interview season! It’s been a long journey with the pre-med courses, long hours in the lab, grueling MCAT prep, and seemingly endless AMCAS and supplemental essays. You’re almost there. I found the interview portion really fun - I traveled to places I’d never been, got wined and dined by students and faculty, and talked ...
Building on existing reading skills to improve your MCAT CARS score
As an MCAT tutor and former test taker, I have often encountered a subset of students who struggle with the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section (CARS) of the test. It can become a significant source of frustration during studying, and there are many students who may even have to re-take as a result of a poor CARS performance.
Preparing for the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)
Here are some helpful tips that can make you stand out from other interviewing applicants:
Maximizing the gap years between college and medical school
If you’re a college student planning to wait 1-3 years after graduating before attending medical school, I was very recently like you. Yay, we were the same! Although you or the people around you may have doubts about prolonging your training or entering the nebula of a life unstructured, I think the time you spend during your gap years can have a ...
Activism and civic engagement in your medical school application
“Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale.” Rudolph Virchow, the father of modern pathology, devoted an equally large portion of his life (when he wasn’t classifying thrombosis risk factors into a triad) to social medicine. Medical history is filled with countless examples of physicians serving as ...
Test like a champion: game-day tips to keep energy up during the MCAT
Waking up on the day of your exam, hopefully 99% of the work is already done. You’ve studied and all you have to do now is take the test! Treating your test prep like a marathon and planning for every possibility is a way to succeed. Let’s talk about strategies that will help you be ready to rock on “game day.”
How to apply to American medical schools while traveling abroad
Applying to medical school while abroad can be a wonderful but challenging experience. It's entirely possible to do the whole process remotely, but it will take careful planning to be completed correctly. There are many important factors, but two of the most important will be successfully filling out your AMCAS application and navigating ...
Behind the scenes of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  In this interview, Graham gives us a brief tour of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Graham completed an MD / MBA student at Vanderbilt University and Harvard University. Prior to his postgraduate studies, Graham graduated from MIT in 2012 as member of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society (the Engineering Equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa) with a ...
How to Choose a Medical School Personal Statement Topic
Unfortunately there is no easy answer on how to do this because it is an extremely personal answer that differs for everyone. Ultimately though, your personal statement must answer two essential questions:  Why you? Why medicine? 
10 Essential Tips to Being a Superstar in Medical School (without losing your mind!)
These are some of the things that I have found super useful in helping me excel in medical school. I hope you find them helpful in whatever area of life or field you are in right now.
Your medical school timeline checklist: planning ahead
So you've decided to apply to medical school this June -- congratulations!  You should take a moment and pat yourself on the back for getting this far.  It's no small feat to find yourself in the applicant pool this year!
An inside look: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Today, we'll be exploring behind the scenes at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with one of our incredible MD coaches, Dan. Dan is currently a first-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Bachelor of ...
An Inside Look Into Harvard Medical School
We'll be taking a peek behind the curtain at Harvard Medical School with Morgan, one of our incredible medical school admissions coaches.  Morgan is originally from Southern New Jersey, spent the past four years in Williamsburg, VA studying at the College of William & Mary, and is now in Boston as a first year medical student at Harvard. As ...
The Top 3 Medical Schools in the US for Research
So you're beginning work on your MD applications, and you're trying to bucket your school list.  If you have competitive numbers, you've probably set your sights on the top three medical schools for research (according to US News).  If you're wondering about what it entails to commit to one of these institutions, read this 2018 at-a-glance guide.
A Quick Introduction to Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Programs
In the competitive world of medicine and medical schools, you should know that there are two types of medicine: allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO). Fundamentally, the two tracks are the same. Both MD and DO students will take the same medical classes, they'll undergo the same training, and their exams will cover the same information. At the end ...
How to Simplify the Process of Selecting Your Medical Speciality
When it comes to choosing a medical specialty, there is no magical sorting hat. Making this decision can involve a lot of soul-searching about the type of career you want.  Here are a few reasons why I think this decision can be challenging:
Surviving the MD admissions process as a student-athlete
For those of us who are pre-med collegiate athletes, or those considering this route, there is one inescapable and terrifying truth: the day consists of only 24 hours. While I was playing NCAA ice hockey at Wesleyan University, 5 hours each day were devoted to athletics. Additionally, most weekends were spent traveling for games and sleeping in ...
Preparing for the tough questions in your med school interview
Last time we discussed the general approach to preparing for a medical school interview and went over a couple big picture questions. The ultimate goals are to, one, let the interviewer know how you are different than every other person they spoke to and, two, why you would be a good fit for this program. You want to convey these points in a ...
Preparing for Your Medical School Interview: General Approach and Big Picture Questions
First things first - congratulations on getting a medical school interview.  It is no small accomplishment and you should take a moment to appreciate all the hard work that has gotten you to this point.  There is still much hard work ahead, but let the “wins” fuel you moving forward. 
How athletes can strengthen their candidacy in med school applications
Whether you are a high school senior trying to decide whether to play sports in college, or a collegiate athlete beginning to fill out your medical school application, this post is for you.  When it comes down to it, admissions committees make their selections based off traits that they recognize tend to help students thrive through school and ...
3 surprising reasons why Social Science prepares you for medicine
One morning during winter break, as I was sitting on my couch with a mug of coffee in hand, I remember reveling to my mom: “It’s incredible how much majoring in anthropology kept on proving itself useful in medical school.  Who would have known?” In college, I chose to major in a social science, anthropology—surely the less traditional route for ...
How to ace interview weekend for PhD Biomedical Science programs
If you read my previous post, “What to expect during interview weekend for PhD Biomedical programs” you know exactly what you are in for during interview weekend. Now the question is, how do you prepare? You have two goals during interview weekend: 1) Convince the graduate students and faculty members that you would be an excellent fit for their ...
What to expect during interview weekend for PhD Biomedical programs
Congratulations! If you have been selected to interview at a Biomedical PhD program (e.g. Biology, Neuroscience, Biophysics) that means you were selected from a pile of hundreds of applicants. The program is willing to fly you in for interview weekend and take the time to show off its program and city. Let that act as a confidence booster, but you ...
Medical School Applications: Three Things to Do In November
By this point, most of you are up and running in the application process, and either have already had an interview or have some lined up. Sometimes, though, the scariest part of this process can come after the interview. At that point, all there is left to do is wait. The interview typically is the last part of this journey that is “in your hands” ...
Medical school interviews: one-on-ones, MMIs, panels
As you approach October in the medical school app cycle, you might have gone on your first interview, or at least have one scheduled coming up. Here, I’ll delve into the different types of medical school interviews and how to handle each. Generally, the three most common types are the one-on-one interview, the multiple mini interview (MMI), and ...
MD admissions timeline: secondary applications!
August likely brings you to a big step of applying to medical schools - your secondary applications. Let's talk more specifically about receiving and turning over these secondaries in a timely fashion.
A guide to 4 medical school secondary application question types
If you’re applying to medical school this cycle and were able to get your primary application in by the end of June, July puts you in the first (of many) waiting game. As you are refreshing the AMCAS page to check the status of your primary application, you can make use of the downtime to prepare yourself for secondaries. Depending on how many ...
Five essential tips for managing your time as a pre-medical student
College as a pre-med can be a grind. Between classes, labs, research, and activities, it can seem like four uninterrupted years of delayed gratification, all building up to that shining moment when you get into the medical school of your dreams (which, as your friends who are wage-earning college graduates will be happy to remind you, involves at ...
The #1 pitfall for pre-medical extracurriculars
So you’re an elected official of ethics, debate, and math societies? Captain of the volleyball, soccer, and swimming intramural teams? A violinist and pianist in three college orchestras? Chances are, you won’t be attending Harvard Medical School.
MD admissions timeline: 4 crucial things to remember in June
  As most of you who are applying to medical school this cycle are aware, the AMCAS opens during the first week of June. Typically, you are allowed to begin filling it out sometime in mid-May, but can't officially complete it until it opens in June. This is when you can submit the first part of your application - the personal statement, activities ...
Extracurriculars for Pre-Meds: The Dos and Don'ts
Thinking about applying to medical school but not sure what you’re going to need to get in?  Desperately searching for lab opportunities but not psyched about spending the summer inside?  Frustrated by the constant inunundation of opposing messages and requirements? You’re not alone! Here are some key dos and don’ts that I learned along the ...
How to Select Your MCAT Test Prep Resources
Image sourced from the New York Times Picking MCAT test prep resources can feel a little bit like trying to pick one ice cream flavor at Coldstone (although perhaps significantly less fun…) – there are so many options, all of them seem to work, and you don’t want to miss out by picking the wrong ones.  Unfortunately, MCAT students too often try to ...
How to quickly get information you need from an MCAT science passage
A lot of students struggle with the timing aspect of the MCAT: between reading all of the passages and thinking through all of the questions, it’s easy to lose track and start feeling rushed towards the end. If timing is a problem for you, try switching up your technique, particularly for the science passages.
The GMAT tutor: crucial do’s and don’ts for the big day
So you’ve been preparing for months, and finally, your GMAT test day is rapidly approaching around the corner. You may be (understandably) starting to feel some anxiety creeping in. How will you retain all the strategies you've learned? How do you make sure all of that hard work, sweat, and toil translates to your test? As your trusty GMAT tutor, ...
Medical School Admissions: What's the Deal with New Medical Schools?
The practice of medicine has been going on for as long as individuals have been affected by disease.  As the population continues to age and technology continues to grow, the need for medical professional and the drive to become physicians continues to grow. Despite the growing need for physicians and growing interest in pursuing a career in ...
MD/PhD Admissions: Medical School Admissions Myths
The summer may give longer warmer days, but for eager premeds the summer isn’t the restful vacation it should be.  Numerous students are filling out their primary applications, in the hopes of achieving admission to the medical school of their dreams. 
MD/PhD admissions: Beyond the test scores
As MCAT season kicks into full gear, many are beginning to think about their next steps.  For those interested in a career in research, the MD/PhD program seems like a likely path. 
MD/PhD Admissions: Common issues in the application process
The MD/PhD admissions process is often time consuming, and anxiety provoking.  There are over a hundred MD/PhD programs across the country.  Some of them are funded in part by the NIH (MSTP) while others are funded privately (non MSTP).  Overall, there are about 4500 students participating in these highly competitive programs across the country.  ...
Application Consulting: Choosing the Right Medical School for You
There are 141 accredited MD-granting medical schools in the US, as well as an additional 29 DO-granting schools. Now, how do you choose the right medical school?
Medical School Admissions: MD, DO, or the Caribbean?
Gaining acceptance to medical school can be a Herculean task. Between meeting pre-med requirements with stellar grades, studying for and taking the MCAT, and navigating the medical school admissions maze, it can be quite the effort. Differentiating between the different medical school paths you can take adds an extra level of complexity. There’s ...
How to stay focused during the MCAT
Studying for the MCAT is heartbreaking, laborious, and anxiety-provoking for pretty much all students. Like the exam itself, MCAT preparation is a marathon. As with all standardized test preparation, over the course of studying, it’s easy to become distracted and lose focus. This can directly affect your chances for success on the exam.
Medical School Admissions: Busting Pre-Med Myths
The medical school application process is so competitive nowadays that it is easy to get caught up in myths and preconceptions about being premed and applying to medical school. Let’s bust some of those below: 1. You need to start preparing for medical school during your freshman year, or you won’t be able to take all your premedical courses. And ...
What if you don't want to be an MD/PhD anymore?
After a couple years in an MD/PhD program, you might wear thin and decide you no longer want to pursue this dual degree. Why it happens, and what can you do about it... The path to gaining admissions to an MD/PhD program is difficult, and filled with hurdles.  Seeking admissions to these programs can be emotionally draining.  At the end of the ...
MD/PhD admissions: mastering the MD/PhD interview
Taking the MCAT (and the requisite MCAT prep class), filling out applications and writing essays can be a mind-numbing process.  However, the process for gaining MD-PhD admissions is not done.  This application and your scores only gives a small sense of who you are, and your potential for success.  But who you are on paper is only a small part of ...
Medical School Admissions: Reading up before your Interview
As you prepare your medical school application, there are many components to consider. One of which is the medical school interview. You should plan to prep for these so you feel confident going in. As an application consultant, I can tell you that at your medical school interviews, you are not expected to be an expert on current events in ...
Why Medicine? MD Admissions & Becoming a Doctor
Nearly 20% of Harvard freshman come to college preparing for a career in medicine: only about 7% of them actually end up going to medical school. The number of pre-med hopefuls is even higher at other schools.  Prior to coming to college, most students have little concept of the wide world of potential careers available to them—realizing only when ...
What can you be with an MD/PhD
In our post, we’ll tell you what the next steps are and what you can be with an MD/PhD The path to gaining admission to a dual degree MD/PhD program is long and arduous.  In our previous blog, we gave the ins and outs of MD/PhD admission, and showed you what the success profiles of accepted students look like:
Choosing the RIGHT MD/PhD program: Admissions Consulting
You’ve spent countless dollars and massive amounts of energy have been drained on MCAT tutors/MCAT prep, applications and application consulting, and interviews.  All this, to secure one of those coveted spots in a prestigious MD/PhD program.  I can tell you from past experience, with that letter in hand, relief washes over you.  However, that ...
De-mystifying the MD/PhD application process
How to make yourself a desirable candidate The hard part is over.  After much though and deliberation, you’ve decided to pursue an MD/PhD program as part of your training (After reading our previous post, “What are MD/PhD  programs and are they for you”, of course).  Now, how do you ensure that you get that coveted spot.  Having gone through the ...
MD/PhD programs: What are they and are they right for me?
MD/PhD programs (also known as an MSTP) are found at medical schools across the country. But, if you’re like me, you’ve never heard about them as a training option until now.  What is their purpose, how do they work, and who decides to pursue this course of study?  The information in this blog post can potentially help you decide if pursing a dual ...
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