Originally Posted by judyjudy
And what does the picture look like for someone who is interested in finding new cures and procedures? What does it mean exactly to research or to be in academia? I'm sorry if this question is really juvenile to you, but I really don't know. (:
To Research in academia as an MD means you are sacrificing your salary in order to find your name published in medical journals on esoteric and largely irrelevant topics. MDs doing research don't change the world. If you are one of the .01% of researchers who actually stumbles onto some relevant new treatment, you may get promoted to chief of your department and make a similar salary as the guy in the same field doing private practice down the road.
Research as an MD/PhD means you wasted 4-6 years getting a degree you will never use (you don't need a PhD to do research as an MD, and you don't need an MD to spend your life on a research track)