Jun 15, 2019
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The following I've always wondered about—

Let's say there is this scenario:
Someone starts out as a student interested in both basic research and practicing medicine. He learns about MD/PhD programs, which allow him to do just this, and successfully matriculates into one. He continues the track through a PSTP and eventually becomes the lauded 80/20 research/clinical practice faculty member. However, there is a good degree of separation between his research and his medical practice (eg. very rarely does his practice help inform his research, and very rarely does his research translate to new ways of treating patients).

In this person's case, does he essentially become a PhD researcher practicing medicine 1 day/week to increase his paycheck? Furthermore, as he spends time away from research to practice medicine and vice versa, will his achievements/skills usually be lower than a "purist" (eg. a pure researcher or clinician) in both?

Basically— does he fulfill the intended, translational role of a physician-scientist, or is he just a scientist who takes some time away to practice medicine on the side?
 

VaultArmitage

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I’m just a undergrad applying soon so take my words with a grain of salt but I honestly think that if someone had such a high degree of separation they would likely drop either the research or medicine. This is because you’re right they wouldn’t be able to do either very well and I would imagine that would be frustrating. The purpose of the MSTP isn’t to create a PhD who does medicine on the side to get a fatter paycheck, it’s to create physician-scientists who blend science and medicine to help patients. The MD/PhDs I’ve meet usually focus on some small niche and do research and treat patients in a very specific setting.
 
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tortuga87

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The following I've always wondered about—

Let's say there is this scenario:
Someone starts out as a student interested in both basic research and practicing medicine. He learns about MD/PhD programs, which allow him to do just this, and successfully matriculates into one. He continues the track through a PSTP and eventually becomes the lauded 80/20 research/clinical practice faculty member. However, there is a good degree of separation between his research and his medical practice (eg. very rarely does his practice help inform his research, and very rarely does his research translate to new ways of treating patients).

In this person's case, does he essentially become a PhD researcher practicing medicine 1 day/week to increase his paycheck? Furthermore, as he spends time away from research to practice medicine and vice versa, will his achievements/skills usually be lower than a "purist" (eg. a pure researcher or clinician) in both?

Basically— does he fulfill the intended, translational role of a physician-scientist, or is he just a scientist who takes some time away to practice medicine on the side?

Yes and yes

A scientist who takes some time away to practice medicine on the side
 
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sluox

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The scenario you cooked up in your head is uncommon beyond the very early stage career. People who are successful in their 80/20 research career can generally tune their clinical practice into something that is synergistic and vice versa.
 
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My issue is that my PhD would most likely be in a very basic science field (think biochemistry/biophysics of proteins) going into an MD/PhD program. Looking around on forums etc., I understand that basic science backgrounds and PhD topics are the norm, but I can't help but worry that I will be unable to find true synergy between my clinical practice and research career (hence, ending up like the scenario I proposed if I somehow made it into 80/20, which I likely wouldn't find the most fulfilling— if that were the case I would probably end up dropping clinical practice and doing what I could have done with a PhD only).

I'm only an undergrad so I don't know the most
 
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The scenario you cooked up in your head is uncommon beyond the very early stage career. People who are successful in their 80/20 research career can generally tune their clinical practice into something that is synergistic and vice versa.
Would this be due to attrition from the 80/20 in early stage careers? Eg. people in this scenario shifting towards either pure clinical practice or pure research, with the remainder having successfully combined the two and hence remaining in 80/20.
 

sluox

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Would this be due to attrition from the 80/20 in early stage careers? Eg. people in this scenario shifting towards either pure clinical practice or pure research, with the remainder having successfully combined the two and hence remaining in 80/20.

Yes.
 
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kepler16b

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My issue is that my PhD would most likely be in a very basic science field (think biochemistry/biophysics of proteins) going into an MD/PhD program. Looking around on forums etc., I understand that basic science backgrounds and PhD topics are the norm, but I can't help but worry that I will be unable to find true synergy between my clinical practice and research career (hence, ending up like the scenario I proposed if I somehow made it into 80/20, which I likely wouldn't find the most fulfilling— if that were the case I would probably end up dropping clinical practice and doing what I could have done with a PhD only).

I'm only an undergrad so I don't know the most
I'm sure there's some disease process associated with your research.
 
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I'm sure there's some disease process associated with your research.
My current research actually revolves around structural changes caused by a specific disease (which would be handled by a neurologist)
 

sluox

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My current research actually revolves around structural changes caused by a specific disease (which would be handled by a neurologist)

If you are worried about this, stop doing this type of research once you graduate.
 
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