Do physician scientists HAVE to do biomedical research?
I understand that the MD/PhD degrees are supposed to create doctors who research about medical issues but does this always have to be the case? I'm really debating whether I want to go for an MD/PhD or just a PhD because I have other research interests. I really do want to become a physician but I'd like to continue doing research in the environment and for bioremediation. Are MD/PhD's restricted to biomedical research or are they allowed to branch out? It doesn't seem so since most schools restrict them to certain labs during the research years.
Also, on a side note, is it unheard of for someone to apply to both MD/PhD programs and PhD programs in the same cycle? I ask this because I am kind of a borderline applicant would like to get into at least something this cycle (I really don't want to spend a gap year doing nothing). I like research more so I don't think I'll be heart broken if I can't make it into an MD program but I'll be sad about not making it into a grad program. Sorry, I've just recently made the decision to pursue a research degree instead of purely a medical degree so I may be sounding a bit silly. Feel free to correct me or just tell me that I'm being naive.