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Maryland Molecular Medicine


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#1 fisherm1

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:37 AM

So I've been accepted to U of Maryland School of Medicine Moleuclar Medicine program. However I'm having a tough time deciding between there and Drexel Medical College Pharmacology & Physiology PhD program. I was wondering if anyone here was in the program at Maryland and could give me their opinion. My main concern with Maryland is that since it's such a large program it might be easy to get "lost". If you're doing research in a lab with 20 other grad students, post docs etc it might be difficult to get some face time with the PI if you're having trouble with your project. Also, how do you pick your thesis committee at such a large school? I'd imagine you might be picking people you've never met, or people that don't really know who you are? Is it hard to get face time at such a big uni?

I'm coming from a small undergrad uni so Drexel appealed to me since it had a similar feel. All the professors there seemed genuinely interested in me, and really seemed like they would advocate for their students after graduation. All the students seemed to know all the professors to some extent, and it seemed like they had pretty close relationships. Can this be said about larger programs as well, or are you more likely to be someone to pump out data for them and then be done with you?

I guess when I really break everything down, I like Maryland more in just about every category (location, electives, choice of labs) except for the fact that I feel like I might just be "another student". I have this image of Ivan Drago from the rockie movie standing there and instead of saying "If he dies, he dies" saying "If he fails, he fails" and worrying that might be what it's like at maryland, but at Drexel the emphasize that they do everything to make sure their students are successfull since it's such a small program (they're only taking 2 students into the program this year)
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#2 Airwalker

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:02 PM

Well, If you go to Molecular Medicine at Maryland, Ill be your classmate, so that is a plus...

Joking aside, I choose Maryland over the other programs I got into because of the wide range of choices available there for students to take part in. You have the Hospital, Institute for Genome Sciences, Aquatic Biology Center, Schools of Dentistry/Medicine/Pharma. I think you have a misconception about the size of labs at Maryland because when I visited I saw labs running all the way from one or two people, all the way up to the 20-30 range that you described. So you have a choice between labs in the size that you want. Also, I think I was told by the program director they only expect 8-12 students in the Mol Med program this year, so there will be plenty of space to make yourself stand out. I think there are way over at least 50 labs to choose from, so you can really pick what you want. I'm in the same boat as you, I currently work in a small lab, and I love the atmosphere it generates, where I know I can always have a chat with my boss. I wouldn't have chosen Maryland if I didn't think I could continue to have that experience.

Plus, funding at Maryland is EXCELLENT. And sad to say, but good funding makes a world of difference. I don't know Drexel's program, but Maryland is top in terms of funding.

Also, I'm from the Baltimore area, and I choose to came back after studying out of state for Undergrad. So I think it is a great area.

Just my opinion, but make a good decision for yourself.
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#3 fisherm1

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

Well, If you go to Molecular Medicine at Maryland, Ill be your classmate, so that is a plus...

Joking aside, I choose Maryland over the other programs I got into because of the wide range of choices available there for students to take part in. You have the Hospital, Institute for Genome Sciences, Aquatic Biology Center, Schools of Dentistry/Medicine/Pharma. I think you have a misconception about the size of labs at Maryland because when I visited I saw labs running all the way from one or two people, all the way up to the 20-30 range that you described. So you have a choice between labs in the size that you want. Also, I think I was told by the program director they only expect 8-12 students in the Mol Med program this year, so there will be plenty of space to make yourself stand out. I think there are way over at least 50 labs to choose from, so you can really pick what you want. I'm in the same boat as you, I currently work in a small lab, and I love the atmosphere it generates, where I know I can always have a chat with my boss. I wouldn't have chosen Maryland if I didn't think I could continue to have that experience.

Plus, funding at Maryland is EXCELLENT. And sad to say, but good funding makes a world of difference. I don't know Drexel's program, but Maryland is top in terms of funding.

Also, I'm from the Baltimore area, and I choose to came back after studying out of state for Undergrad. So I think it is a great area.

Just my opinion, but make a good decision for yourself.


Thanks for the feedback. Like you said I love the atmosphere of a smaller lab where face time with the PI is easy to come by. It would make sense though that there would be smaller labs at Maryland too, since despite being a larger school, there are way more labs to choose from. Also if I'm not mistaken, we can choose labs from other programs as well, correct? So I think in total there is something along the lines of 150 mentors that you can choose from which is pretty amazing.
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#4 Airwalker

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

Yeah, What they told me is that PI's can be a part of every program if they just fill out a short form. So a PI that is currently part of Mol Micro & Immuno but not part of Mol Med and wants to open up a new research area with a Mol Med student like ourselves would fill out a quick one page form, and then they can take that student. So its a no hassle policy for the PI that allows students to work with pretty much anybody willing to accept them.

And in the end it is all about who you Pick as your PI. There are going to be slave driver PIs everywhere that don't care about the people in their lab, it's just up to the student to pick out the PI that does care.

Edited by Airwalker, 02 April 2012 - 03:43 PM.

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#5 fisherm1

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:44 PM

So im officially going to maryland. Have you started that summer reading assignment? I've only read a couple of chapters so far. Do you plan on doing the bridge class too?
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#6 Airwalker

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:52 PM

Uhhh... I haven't gotten any contact about the Summer reading assignment lol. The only thing I have gotten so far is the Packet pertaining to hiring information to fill out for payroll, etc. Who did you get it from? Maybe something in my email is filtering it out...
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#7 fisherm1

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:25 PM

they actually gave it to me in person when I met with someone down there after my interview. pm me your email and ill forward you the assignment and what textbooks you need

Edited by fisherm1, 23 May 2012 - 04:25 PM.

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#8 fisherm1

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:49 PM

lol nevermind, Racael Holmes just sent out an email with it. Did you get it?
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#9 Airwalker

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:54 PM

Ah, yeah!

I just got it lol. I was at the first interview, so they probably didn't have any of the info at all yet. Looks pretty intense, I'm not looking forward to all the reading...
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#10 fisherm1

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:01 PM

Yeah I'm just starting chapter 25 and some of the stuff so far is pretty detailed. I was able to finagle my way into doing an unofficial rotation starting july 9th (which you're apparently not supposed to do, oops) so I'm not sure if I'm going to do the bridge class or not, but I'd definitely like to since it seems like every little advantage will go a long way in the core course
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#11 Airwalker

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

The Cell Biology textbook that they are using is probably one of the best available. The boss I currently work for says that if you know at least 50% of each chapter your GBO will be a breeze. So it is probably worth it to just get it done, and the core course is going to help us along.
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