Quantcast

Being a doctor and philosophy professor

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
169
Reaction score
57
Just wondering what the general idea is about being a master of two trades. Could you maybe not hold a job as a professor, but could you have be in the top 10% of two completely different fields like medicine and humanities?




Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 

Mansamusa

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
1,335
How do you quantify top 10% of a field especially a field like humanities where things are subjective? There are physicians who are writers though.
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
67,785
Reaction score
104,610
Are you asking can one get an MD and PhD? If so, yes, there are program designed just for this.

Or are you asking can an MD be a professor? The answer is yes, IF we're talking about being a faculty member at a medical school. The variable is teaching vs clinical time for that particular faculty member.

But if you're talking MD and, say, history professor, then no. Two very different training pathways.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Perrotfish

Has an MD in Horribleness
10+ Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
8,224
Reaction score
4,540
Just wondering what the general idea is about being a master of two trades. Could you maybe not hold a job as a professor, but could you have be in the top 10% of two completely different fields like medicine and humanities?




Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app

It is not possible to be a humanities professor, with or without an MD. Every professor that retires is being replaced by two minimum wage adjuncts. Leaving aside the timeline (it takes an average of 10 years to complete a PhD in the humanities, and the fact that is usually takes 1-2 2 year post docs to land a tenure track position) these jobs are so rare that getting one is like winning the lottery. It will happen to someone, it won't happen to you.

Medical school is a misery, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Graduate school is just a scam. You have a 98% change of failure, and a 2% chance of a barely middle class job. Its Trump University with a nicer campus. Don't do it. If you like to read be a doctor and read on the weekends. If you desperately want to teach humanities, get a bachelors and maybe a masters and teach high schoolers.

Further reading

100 reasons not to go to graduate school: http://100rsns.blogspot.com/

Thomas Benton: http://chronicle.com/article/graduate-school-in-the/44846
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
37,390
Reaction score
72,486
Are you asking can one get an MD and PhD? If so, yes, there are program designed just for this.

Or are you asking can an MD be a professor? The answer is yes, IF we're talking about being a faculty member at a medical school. The variable is teaching vs clinical time for that particular faculty member.

But if you're talking MD and, say, history professor, then no. Two very different training pathways.
Could always be an adjunct, if you put in the extra time post-medical school to work on a PhD (or Master's degree if you wanted to just teach at a community college or something).
 

Mansamusa

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
1,335
Could always be an adjunct, if you put in the extra time post-medical school to work on a PhD (or Master's degree if you wanted to just teach at a community college or something).
But OP is asking to be in the "top 10%" in both fields at the same time, which is just unrealistic
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
37,390
Reaction score
72,486
But OP is asking to be in the "top 10%" in both fields at the same time, which is just unrealistic
True. Being in the "top 10%" requires a full-time commitment, with research and everything. It's just silly.

But being an adjunct that is well-respected within an institution is doable, particularly if you specialize in an area that you could approach from a different light than they could, such as the philosophy and ethics of health care.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

JustAPhD

Not a hummingbird expert
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
3,472
Reaction score
8,836
Being a physician and a philosophy professor sounds way nicer than it actually would be.

Although, something to keep in mind OP. I remember I had a medical ethics course in undergrad that was "team-taught" by a philosophy prof and a physician. Something like that might be realistic, but I suspect that's a rather unique position.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
25,953
Reaction score
45,182
I know of a surgeon with a doctorate in philosophy. His area expertise is professional ethics. He did the PhD during med school simialr to the MD/PhD students in the natural sciences.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Doctor-S

Grand Rounds Clinical & Research
Lifetime Donor
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
5,954
Just wondering what the general idea is about being a master of two trades. Could you maybe not hold a job as a professor, but could you have be in the top 10% of two completely different fields like medicine and humanities?
In response to your comment concerning a master of two trades:

You can earn as many academic degrees as you want, in more than one completely different field. So, you can become "a master of two trades."

However ...

If you aspire to be in the "Top 10%" of either field (whatever Top 10% means at any given moment relative to your field), you will likely need to become a specialist/leading contributor in a particular niche of your field.

I am familiar with quite a few folks who have earned dual graduate degrees. For instance, I am familiar with an individual who earned a PhD in Political Science as well as an MD degree. In addition to lecturing about a specific topic in political science (for which he is considered a leading authority in connection with that particular niche), he was also the Department Chair of his medical specialty for many years. Another one is an MD/PhD (Engineering) who earned a JD degree, and became a leading patent attorney in connection with medical devices. Another one is an MD/PhD (Philosophy).

Here is the catch: a dual degree does not guarantee fame, fortune, or celebrity. It requires a lot of extra time, dedication and effort to earn a dual degree (in medicine as well as in a non-medical academic discipline). But, you already know that, eh?

I think it's safe to opine ... if you want to become a well-respected authority (or a recognized "expert") in more than two different fields, you should be fully prepared (professionally, emotionally, and financially) to complete a significant amount of graduate education, plus post-graduate hours (if required in the field), as well as additional training and/or research, followed by additional supervision, or a fellowship in your field. Then, you will need to show exceptionally strong evidence of "Top 10% merit" by contributing something truly and significantly noteworthy or unique to your niche (e.g., outstanding first-person research and/or equally outstanding noteworthy publications, inventions, discoveries) before anyone might begin to consider you as a leading authority in your field. Of course, it can be done ... so if you choose to earn a dual degree, I wish you the very best of success in your future professional endeavors.

Thank you.
 

JustaDO

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
616
Reaction score
1,113
Just wondering what the general idea is about being a master of two trades. Could you maybe not hold a job as a professor, but could you have be in the top 10% of two completely different fields like medicine and humanities?

Sure, and one can be a physician and astronaut at the same time (aerospace medicine), but most people fail to achieve one, let alone both. Cross that hypothetical bridge if you get there.
 

Perrotfish

Has an MD in Horribleness
10+ Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
8,224
Reaction score
4,540
Sure, and one can be a physician and astronaut at the same time (aerospace medicine), but most people fail to achieve one, let alone both. Cross that hypothetical bridge if you get there.

Unrelated to the OP but this is a common misconception: NASA's aerospace medicine doctors are not astronauts, they're doctors on the ground who take care of the astronauts. The actual astronauts who are doctors are usually board certified in something else.
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
7+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
8,584
Reaction score
19,739
There are physicians who are also full professors. I have such a professor in college. MD, no PhD, psychiatrist, full professor in two different fields, at a medical school and my undergrad. The humanities work is related to his medical field. Indiana has a physician faculty member who is a radiologist, has done a lot of scholarly work in radiology, but is also a full philosophy professor at the undergrad level. Specialty: philanthropy and ethics.

There are many physician poets, alive or dead. Many physician scholars, alive or dead. I would call the physicians who write massive historical/scientific books for the public scholars as well.

It happens. Rare. Very very hard. Lots of work. Little reward other than whatever you get from the work itself.
 
Top