Best way to advance career

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by rapidprotocol, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. rapidprotocol

    2+ Year Member

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    I am interested in academic medicine and will matriculate in MD/PhD.

    Here's a thought.

    There are residency-PhD, and usually the PhD is only two years.

    For MD-PhD, the PhD is usually four.

    Please do not get too idealist about how, long PhD = full PhD. I love science, but I want to start my academic medicine career without detours. And preferably, I want to connect research with medicine. Looks like Res-PhD is more efficient that MD-PhD. Now I know that the topic of the PhD does not matter, and that the important skills gained from PhD is thinking like a scientist. But wouldn't it be more efficient to gain "scientist's skill" WHILE advancing your medical specialty via Res-PhD?

    The length is determined by the feasibility of the model system as well as the pressure from PI. If you are starting a new experimental system and your PI wants you to take risks, chances are you won't be publishing and you're not leaving with a PhD any time soon.

    Now let's hear your opinions: does that mean once you are an MD and full certified, you can throw your weight around and demand "high-yield" projects leading to quick PhD? If so, does that imply MD-PhD are been abused more? Now I know some of us want to do basic research, for that, I can see the benefit of doing full PhD, filled with high-risk/high-reward projects as well as pioneering new model systems and techniques. But for translational research with clinical relevance (the goal of NIH MSTP), would it be more efficient to do research once you have decided on the specialty?
     
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  3. sluox

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    oh dear...

    :p

    you might want to consult my article..."Why MDPhD is a waste of time." just google it and you'll find it.
     
  4. dphoenix

    dphoenix New Member
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    You treat the PhD as if the goal to get through it is just to get another degree and another notch on your belt. The PhD is a training, spending several years dedicated to problem solving and science, something that the MD doesn't give you (quite the opposite actually, you're trained NOT to think, just absorb).

    As far as I've seen, I've never seen any residency PhD do their thesis in a basic science lab, so I have to agree that the training is not good because to be honest, the standards are much lower. There's a reason why medical students ubiquitously think they can just take 3 months off and get a couple papers out to a clinical journal. If you care about training yourself as a scientist that uses hypothesis-driven and rigorous methods, then spending some time actually doing science is pretty important.

    That being said, you're right to imply that nobody will know the difference whether you did 2 years, 4years or 10 years on your PhD, you'll have the same credentials. They'll judge you based on the quality of your work.

     
  5. strangeglove

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    It all comes down to publications and funding. If you can pull off a few good publications and write and receive an NRSA or similar grant during a 2-year PhD during residency, then it's as good as a regular old PhD. Otherwise, its jut a glorified research fellowship. By the same token, if you do an MD-PhD and fail to publish or obtain independent funding during your PhD, then sluox may be right.
     
  6. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member
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    I agree with dphoenix. You don't need a PhD to do research. Most MDs who end up in basic science start doing research in residency/fellowship and will then obtain 1-2 years of pure basic science before applying for a job. They do this without the PhD. Again, there is no point to go for a PhD just for the degree. You should do it for the training experience.
     

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