academic medicine without a PhD?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mvalento, Aug 28, 2001.

  1. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    i have a question for any of you knowledgeable about careers in academics- i am interested in infectious disease, with particular emphasis on basic microbiology research and teaching (such as at a medical school). i'm only a first year but i will most likely be joining the honors program hear at NYU, which basically means that i'll be spending a few summers doing research here to graduate with "honors in microbiology" or something like that. now, i've noticed that some IM residencies have certain academic tracks which allow residents to pursue more research in order to follow a career in academia. these programs seem to lean towards MD/PhDs but are not exclusive. i still have not ruled out applying for MD/PhD- however,i would prefer a way to pursue academics without the PhD. so! does anyone know of any MDs out there involved in basic science research, or that spends time teaching or in the lab? i would be very interested to hear of it. thanks-

    bud
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    1

    Here's the key, as far as research goes, publish papers and present at conferences. The best way to do that is to get an MS/MD and spend an additional year trying to put out some significant work. You will need to get a postdoc, after your clinical residency in infectious diseases or pathology, to be a candidate for an academic career.
     
  4. proffit

    proffit ovary mcnugget

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know about the MS suggestion, though Tim is definitely correct about the 'publish or perish' thing. You can do research w/o enrolling formally in a master's program, and, rather than paying for school (or receiving a measly stipend), you could actually make some cash. Virtually all academics will tell you that MS's in the sciences are absolutely useless. The MD degree is great because it gives you the option to practice clinical medicine *or* do research. Thus, if you discover that you dont have that certain thing that makes people great researchers (read the 'thing' that gets you tenure faculty positions), you aren't stuck eternally in the depressing world of the phD post-doc. There are *many* researchers, both bench and clinical, that have only an MD. The brother of the professor for whom I did research as an undergrad had only an MD, and he ended up doing basic virology research at UC-Irvine in a tenure-track position. I believe he sees patients for 2 months or so a yr as well. The big advantage of the MD/phD is that the MD portion of the combined program is paid for. Those MD's that are research-inclined often pursue research-oriented fellowships at the NIH or other institutions (though most do clinical residencies as well to get licensed).

    B
     
  5. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm thinking about taking a year off to do research. Would it be best done between 2nd and 3rd year?
     
  6. Barton

    Barton Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    2
    I know a boatload of MDs that do both research and teaching at the Mayo Clinic. My girlfriend's dad and like everybody I went to high school with's parents are all professors/assistant profs/associate profs at mayo med school. Lots do research there too. Of course, there are MD/PhDs there too, but I believe the majority are just MD's. Check out their website (www.mayo.edu). Come to think of it, think how many med schools there are. Now think about how many faculty there are at each one. A lot, right? Now think of how many MD/PhD's there are. Not too many, right? Do the math. You can check it by looking at the faculty lists on med school websites.
     
  7. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    first of all, thanks to everyone for the responses.

    as far as the professors we have in med school, yes, some are MDs, but most of our basic science profs are PhDs. no real surprise there.

    damn, i'm late for anatomy lab~

    bud
     
  8. ckent

    ckent Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Wait until next year, that is when you will meet all of the academic physicians because they are the ones that predominantly teach 2nd year. Almost all specialists in academic medical centers (MDs) either have their own lab or are associated with a lab. Most don't see their lab on an every day basis though.
     
  9. ckent

    ckent Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    1
    People can take years off and do research almost all years. Between 2nd and 3rd year is one obvious time, but some research fellowships are meant for students to do between 3rd and 4th year (particularly clinical research fellowships). A lot of physicians do research during residency and/ or fellowship too.
     
  10. Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    1

    My idea was to use the MS as a catapult to get more research oriented classes/labs to beef up the bench work and consequently, publish. I agree that an MS is not needed to perform research, however, there is usually some funding available for an MS program (esp with good GPA/GREs). Afterwards, the MD will essentially cover the need for a 'Doctorate' and the person is as *academically* qualified as a MD/PhD but without the grueling torture of a PhD program. Trust me on one issue, one can never know when one's PhD work will be approved for defense. At least we all know that MS programs last from a year to three years tops (if thesis is required). And if one can get a couple of hot papers out in 1.5-2 years, the work's completed.
     
    rocklobstr likes this.
  11. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know about the year long research program at the NIH?
     

Share This Page