I’m on my 3rd/5 undergraduate years, so I’m just starting to think about grad admissions.
I’ve been planning on applying to MD/PhD programs. I enjoy/feel comfortable in hospitals and think I can make a contribution or two in medically-relevant bioinformatics/comp. genetics.
So, one of the big pulls for me into a grad program is teaching. I would probabaly enjoy being a high school teacher or a college lecturer but it seems like an insecure career path to me, and not doing any research would probabaly bum me out after a while.
And, in theory, MD/PhD programs support that—TAing, teaching classes, teaching workshops at conferences, simplifying complex ideas for patients, etc. MSTP guidelines even mention teaching interest as an important characteristic.
But, in practice, I feel weird about emphasizing my teaching interest. Most grad students I meet dislike being a TA, professors don’t like teaching, and often it seems like they feel like teaching gets in the way of their real work. And those are the people who will be reviewing my application. I’m kinda afraid that I’ll be seen as a not-serious-researcher for wanting to focus on teaching.
Should I de-emphasize my teaching interest? If not, do you have any suggestions about how to present it on personal statements/interviews/etc?