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MD/PhD Dual Degree Program

  1. Apr 23, 2013 #1
    Has anyone in this forum started or finished this kind of program. If so, how did you get in? I imagine it requires perfect GPA and MCAT score, but is there other factors like what your major is or research done as an undergrad?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2013 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    My niece is in one for veterinary science at Cornell. Its a 7 year program and highly competitive. She'll be a Phd and a DVM.

    You have to be prepared for the work for those 7 years or decide to complete one half or the other because if you burn out or drop out then you have nothing. They give you choices about what tracks you can take in years like 2 - 3 - 2 or 4 - 3 or 3 - 4 ....
     
  4. Apr 24, 2013 #3

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Are those programs mainly aimed at medical research positions? What kind of patient contacts would you have with that type of degree combination?
     
  5. Apr 24, 2013 #4

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    The theory behind the dual DvM and PhD was to give the DVM the skills to write journal papers at the level of a PhD from things found while being a practicing clinician.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2013 #5
    So a graduate from those programs can work in clinical and research positions?
     
  7. Apr 24, 2013 #6

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, I think thats the general idea.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2013 #7
    Yes, it is common for physicians in academic centers to hold this degree combination. They see patients like any other physician.

    However, it is not necessary to hold the PhD to be a clinical scientist. Many clinical physicians with MD alone are quite accomplished researchers and prolific publishers.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2013 #8
    So does the PhD make a difference if you want to do research, or is it just for show?
     
  10. Apr 25, 2013 #9
    Completion of the PhD shows a deeper level of training in the research process and requires the degree holder to achieve a level of expertise in a second doctoral field (the first being medicine). I don't think anyone would say the PhD is "just for show" as it certainly carries weight and is a meaningful degree.
     
  11. Apr 26, 2013 #10
    Would the PhD be directly in medicine, or in another field, i.e. biology, immunology, or chemistry, etcetera?
     
  12. Apr 26, 2013 #11
    The PhD is typically completed in a field with application to medicine (biology, biophysics, biomedical sciences, genomics, chemistry, immunology, cellular biology, neuroscience, virology, etc.).

    Allowed fields vary by institution.
     
  13. Apr 26, 2013 #12
    Are med school professors not often found to be holders of MD/PhD degrees anyway?

    Or perhaps they got the PhD some time after...
     
  14. Apr 26, 2013 #13
    Some professors are MD/PhD, but most are MD alone and some are PhD alone.
     
  15. Apr 29, 2013 #14
    Do you mean professors in medical school? Or something related like biology or chemistry? Also, can you teach biology our chemistry in a university with just an MD?
     
  16. Apr 29, 2013 #15
    Medical school faculty run the gamut from single degree holders to all sorts of multiple degree holders (I've met academic oral surgeons who have a dental degree, an MD, and a Ph.D.). It's also important to note that you have both basic science departments as well as clinical departments in medical schools - a former labmate (a Ph.D.) is presently a faculty member in a medical school biochemistry department, he is not teaching anything clinical in nature.

    Insofar as an MD teaching courses in a standard university chemistry or biology department, unless they're (cross) appointed in that department, I don't see it happening. There are MDs who decide to abandon medicine, do postdoctoral work, and then pursue a career in basic science. But not MDs who figure that their long-ago undergrad background - which might not even be suitable, especially in chemistry - more than qualifies them in conjunction with their professional degree.
     
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