Clinician + Researcher = M.D. Ph.D?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by w00tz, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. w00tz

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    Or is it possible to be both with just M.D. without Ph.D?

    I just want to know if MDs have the opportunity to do research. If they do, is it just limited to clinical research or can they do basic science research as well?
    Kinda curious, because I really enjoy patient contact, but I would also love to squeeze in some research in my career if possible.

    Also, if its technically possible, is it practical to be both a clinician and a researcher or are there simply not enough hours in a day? To me it seems like it would depend on the specialty you go in to, but I dunno...
    The reason I ask is because I know that some fellowships give you time to do both research and interact with patients, but once the fellowships are done...?
    I know I'm all over the place with these questions, but if anyone could shed light :thumbup:
     
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  3. TupacalipseT96

    TupacalipseT96 R U Still Down?

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    definitely, many run research labs with just an MD.

    EDIT:
    1.) And yes they often do basic science research too.
    2.) My PI is both a practicing cardiologist and...my PI...so yes to that question too. He is busy though. Once you are at PI status, you aren't the one actually in the lab doing the dirty work most of the time, so you still have time to be a doctor doctor.
     
  4. DrChristianTroy

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    I work at a Glaucoma clinic at Hopkins, and one of the doctors that I work with only has an MD and performs a substantial amount of laboratory research on top of his clinical research, clinics, and surgeries.
     
  5. w00tz

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    Sweet, thanks for the quick response.

    So what would be the purpose of going M.D. Ph.D.?
     
  6. TupacalipseT96

    TupacalipseT96 R U Still Down?

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    1.) being greedy with degrees
    2.) wanting no med school debt
    3.) wanting to be cool
    4.) thinking it will make you a better researcher
    5.) being obsessed with taking the most competitive route
    6.) or maybe you actually do learn more that way? I wouldn't know
     
  7. TupacalipseT96

    TupacalipseT96 R U Still Down?

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    7.) wanting those extra 3 letters on your white coat
    8.) forgetting that you can always just get your PhD later
    9.) realizing that you did lots of research and no volunteer work in undergrad and finding out MD/PhD programs will like you better for it than MD


    The cardiology fellow I do bench top research with is doing a combined cardiology fellowship/PhD ...so you can always wait and get your PhD later if you're unsure.
     
  8. thesauce

    thesauce Senior Member
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    10.) May look better when applying for grants to fund your research
     
  9. BluePhoenix

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    An MD and a PhD are not equivalent and getting an MD in no way prepares you for a career in research. The PhD provides a significant amount of training for conducting research and running a lab. While you can do basic science research without a PhD, it does help in terms of getting grant money and in the actual research aspect. Coming out of med school, it's unlikely you will have done a significant amount of research or published many papers (actual journal articles, not case write ups). Attempting to get a grant when you don't have a good background in research is VERY HARD TO DO, especially in the current financial situation of the various groups - NSF, NIH, etc...especially if you've never even seen a grant or helped to write one before. It also helps you in terms of know how to design and complete a project, writing it up, the general procedures you're going to need to know to successfully run a lab. While it is possible to do, getting a PhD definitely helps you out.

    Yes, many med students have worked in a lab for a year or two, but there's a BIG difference between being someone's lab monkey and actually being in charge of a lab.
     
  10. SarsMO

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    Another issue is that serious research takes up A LOT of time. I talked to an MD/PhD researcher who said they were lucky to have one day/week of clinical work (and this is a typical situation)...if you're in charge of research, the pressure to publish is ridiculous, and the amount of grants available are dwindling compared to the number of profs requesting them...
     

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