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PharmD or MD (without residency)?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Gilligan, 02.16.12.


  1. Thanks to Crack the PCAT
  1. Gilligan

    Gilligan

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    Hey guys-

    I've considered pursuing a doctoral degree over the last 2 years and the two programs that have interested me most are the PharmD and MD. I've already taken the PCAT once and got an overall 74% composite score. I'll probably have to retake it to get a more competitive score. I was mainly considering the PharmD because of the wide option of job prospects in a variety of different settings, but i'm hearing a lot of negative feedback regarding pharmacy jobs. Is it just in retail or all jobs requiring a PharmD? Anyway, i'm open to pursuing an MD, but i'd only be willing to do the 4 years of medical school without the residency.

    My main question: Are there any good job prospects for an MD who has not completed a residency or would it be better for me to just pursue a PharmD given the current state of the Pharmacy industry?

    My background: Biochemistry undergrad degree and MBA in Marketing Management
    Work Experience: 9 years in a pharmaceutical company (1 yr analytical R&D, 5 years Chemical Process R&D, and 3 years pharmaceutical IT).

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. pipersnap

    pipersnap

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    An MD without residency is more-or-less useless.
  3. Soccer171983

    Soccer171983 Just living the dream....

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    Agreed. Very risky an it's the board certification that hospitals want.
  4. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    What would you expect to find job-wise as a MD without a residency?

    Honestly, I think that it's incredibly silly to even consider that thought because a residency is expected from an MD.
  5. MShopes

    MShopes

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    MD without residency? You can't even work without residency even if you have the option. It's not an option, it's required that you have a minimum of 3 years residency. Don't let the pre-meds start laughing at you, seriously.
  6. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    It seems like the OP wants wide open job prospects, but said poster needs to realize that there aren't many (if any) fields in which you can find such options. Furthermore, as an MD without a residency, you will have no job prospects without finishing a residency. Why are you opposed to pursuing a residency?

    I'm also a bit dismayed because said poster has made no mention about actually being interested in health care, which rubs me a bit wrong, but that's my personal gripe.
  7. NaOH

    NaOH WTF am I reading

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    The only instance I have heard of where an MD without a residency had application was of some research positions where, by nature of what was being done, an MD was required to sign off on it. Of course, said MD had previously completed a PhD and only did med school to satisfy said requirement. And, maybe he was bored? At any rate, being finished quickly still wasn't an element of it.
  8. CareDD

    CareDD

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    Pharm.D!
  9. xXRAYNEXx

    xXRAYNEXx

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    The nonclinical jobs that you seek still want an MD with clinical experience. Ur background in business is good, but to make ur MD useful, you still need clinical exp from what I've read...that means do ur residency and be licensed, practice for few years. You need to go thru the whole sha-bang. No shortcut here.

    Sent from my PC36100
  10. whatbout2morrow

    whatbout2morrow Is there anything you would not do for your family Bronze Donor

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    I saw that a member of SDN had a website about non-clinical jobs and thought I would post it here http://www.nonclinicaljobs.com/ .

    I'd rather do PharmD as you would have the option of both clinical and non-clinical jobs with the PharmD, but would have no option but to go into non-clinical jobs as an MD without residency.
  11. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus

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    You definitely need at least 1 year of residency (aka intern year) to sit for the Step 3 exam. Once you pass that, you are "qualified" to practice on your own. I say "qualified" because almost no group/hospital will pick you up.
  12. Ilovewater

    Ilovewater

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    This. Without Step 3, you are not board certified and cannot do anything with your degree. It'd be a waste of 200k+ in loans. I used to work at a pharm company, and HR only recruited physicians who had years of experience. An MD/DO without residency is basically worthless.
  13. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy

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    Do you have a plan of what you want to do once you get either degree?

    If you are planning on not doing residency I would discourage you from pursuing the MD. The job options are fairly limited without residency training, and the knowledge you gain in med school is fairly narrowly focused on becoming a clinician. Even pharm companies commonly want residency or fellowship trained MDs and not people straight out of med school. I know consulting firms will hire MDs without residency training, but if you want to do that you already have an MBA and work experience it'd be better to apply now and try to save 4 years and 200k+.
  14. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Clarification - "board certified" usually means a physician who completed residency and have passed all the requirements from their respective board (american board of internal medicine, american board of pediatrics, american board of surgery, etc) - usually involving examinations

    While med students often refer to the USMLE/COMLEX as "the boards", completing the steps does not confer "board certification" status. It is just one requirement in getting an unrestricted license.
  15. Ilovewater

    Ilovewater

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    Yeah, this is what I meant, but I didn't know how to use the terms correctly. Thanks for the clarification.
  16. ACE Rx

    ACE Rx Super Senior Member

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    M.D. without residency = a piece of glorified paper; can't even get a job without any experience

    Pharm D without residency = most retail; can get clinical but difficult

    Pharm D. with residency = lots of opportunities
  17. PharMed2016

    PharMed2016 Eternal Scholar

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    FDA or research.
  18. Gilligan

    Gilligan

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    Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of getting into medical consulting, where my medical expertise will be in demand w/o necessarily having the residency/internship background. But, as you say, there may be no need for this, and it's still very risky. I'd really prefer doing one of the few 3 yr PharmD programs available in the country (15 or so schools), but i'm hearing how the supply of pharmD's has begun exceeding the demand, so that's making me a bit hesitant, although i still am seeing a ton of PharmD job postings on sites such as Indeed.com. Not sure what to think. I'm closer to PharmD than to MD program, as i've already taken PCAT once before and have a listing of schools i'd be ready to apply to. I just would hate to get into tons of debt if the job prospects are not good in 4 to 5 years time...
  19. Gilligan

    Gilligan

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    Guys-

    Thanks so much for all the replies. I've considered medical consulting as a possible goal, but i think MD sans residency is a huge risk. As i may have mentioned, i would prefer PharmD, but what i'm hearing about all the new supply of pharmDs coming out of pharmacy schools overtaking the demand is making me hesitant on the PharmD. If i'd pursue it, i'd have to worry about how the pharmD market will look in 4-5 years. I know there appear to be more options with the pharmD, but i'm being told by people that you might have to end up moving to an undesireable location for work, so not sure about it... But thanks again for all suggestions. If anyone who's actually working as a PharmD has any further info on the matter or the state of the pharmacy industry, please feel free to share.

    Many thanks again, guys!
  20. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    With just a medical degree and no residency, you are basically worthless. You have no medical expertise - you don't even have the bare minimum to get an unrestricted license to practice medicine. You have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the ART of medicine, and applying what you have just learn. That's why intern year is so hard and tough (and why residency is long - and why fellowship is there). And most likely, you won't even know the economics/financial aspect of medicine, (eg documentation requirements, how to bill, how organizations are set up, etc.) because you haven't been expose or taught while in medical school (and most residency don't even teach this stuff)

    I do know a few people who have gone on to do consulting after finishing medical school ... but they have interesting background (eg Columbia Law followed by Harvard Med and Wharton MBA). Do you need that background to go into consulting - NO. But if your credential is just an MD (or DO) without anything else and no experience ... you will have an uphill battle. However, I will say that anything is possible in this country. Just look at Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg, or Sergey Brin or Larry Page - I'm sure people gave them the long-odds advice too. Just be aware that there will be challenges, and more people fail than succeed.

    I will defer comments in regards to PharmD.

    Good luck
  21. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent

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    :laugh:

    Somebody's been drinkin' the "clinical" kool aid...
  22. Temperature101

    Temperature101

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    That is true...I would do the MD/DO with residency because there will be more opportunity with that degree. We are in the same boat, but decided DO since my GPAs are not up to par for MDs.
  23. ACE Rx

    ACE Rx Super Senior Member

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    I fail to understand what it is you are trying to say with this statement. As a matter of fact, I expected better/more mature advice/comments from a pharmacist than "drinking the clinical kool aid." :cool:

    I believe that my last statement was pretty valid in that you have way more opportunities with a Pharm. D + residency than just with the degree alone. Sure, you may be able to obtain the same opportunities without a residency but it will be an uphill battle. Nothing is a certainty but doing things to increase your odds is never a bad thing.
  24. cuedee

    cuedee

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    I agree with the above. I don't think you'd be considered an expert without significant experience (i.e. residency and several years of practice).
  25. eagleface

    eagleface

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    Research definitely favors the MD degree in anything biology or chemistry related. Even in biomedical engineering, you have way more opportunity with an MD degree than you do with a PhD. degree. Jarvik is seen as a great researcher where most PhD are seen as second tier. MD is good for pretty much any profession.

    In fact, the only MD that isn't taken seriously as a researcher is a self-proclaimed "physicist" who runs a cult dedicated to his pseudo-physics that centers around a fictional state of the hydrogen atom called the 'hydrino' state. His name is Randell Mills. Other than this crackpot, MD holders are usually respected researchers.

    PharmD is taken seriously by most in research, but researchers often want holders of that degree to then get a PhD too. On Wall Street, the first guy to predict that perifosine would fail its trial was a PharmD and an MD followed so there's definitely a place in business too for both degrees.

    You can also edit textbooks and live off of royalties for putting in a few commas. With just an MD and no license, you're worth about 100K per annum.

    Residency is not a traditional part of pharmacy practice so the degree doesn't lose as much value if you don't do a residency, but either way, you're not worth much more than 100K unless you develop a good patented product, move into management, or use your knowledge in a related field.
    Last edited: 05.02.12
  26. eagleface

    eagleface

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    If an MD was required to sign off on it by law, he would have also needed to do a residency because he would have needed medical licensure. If you have an MD degree, but not a medical license, you cannot use the MD title indiscriminately. Are you sure he didn't do a residency? Was it just company policy?

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