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Consistency between residency and research

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by meowkat444, May 8, 2007.

  1. meowkat444

    meowkat444 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I am applying to MSTPs this year, and while I know it's a long way off and I might change my mind 32781 times, I'm wondering if people generally do a residency that lines up with their phd? I'm probably going to do a neuroscience PhD, so i guess it would make sense to do a neurology or psych residency. However, I could definitely image being fascinated by surgery or IM or EM along the way (again, I know I don't have to decide for years). Is there a place, career-wise, for people whose residencies and PhDs might have slightly different foci?
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  3. gstrub

    gstrub Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Just look around this forum...this is a very popular question. From my perspective, you can do research in a lot of different fields, and remember your PhD doesn't necessarily have to be in the field you eventually want to practice. Take me...PhD in Biochemistry and molecular biology, residency will be surgery.
  4. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd Administrator Physician PhD Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2002
    the beach
    Psychiatry and Neurology aren't the only clinical specialties that impact the brain. ENT, Ophthomology, and Neurosurgery all impact on neuroscience. Neuropathology and Neuroradiology are more examples. You could even stretch it further and do work like neurotrauma in the ER or stroke rehab in PM&R. I'm sure there's many more examples that didn't come immediately to my mind.

    There's lots of things to worry about--you shouldn't worry about this one ;)
  5. tacojohn

    tacojohn Banned Banned

    Jun 28, 2006
    It depends on what you learn during your PhD too. People will tend to care less about the name of your degree and care more about what you actually did during it. If you get a good background in a wide variety of research techniques during your neuroscience PhD, that will be more useful than a thesis project in which you only did one type of experiment over and over. For example, I would think that just about everybody would want to have at least some exposure to molecular biology techniques no matter what their PhD is in.
  6. meowkat444

    meowkat444 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    oops, sorry to re-ask a common question :) but as always I appreciate it.

    true, don't have to worry about this for a long time. should probably get in somewhere first.
  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    My PhD is in organic chem, so there will definitely be a different focus for me in residency. I'm finishing my first year of med school now, and it has reminded me yet again why I avoided bio in the first place. :smuggrin:

    All kidding aside, I think that no matter what you do your PhD in, you can imagine multiple specialties where you could use it. Even in my case, I can come up with at least half a dozen ideas. The most obvious one is anesthesiology (drugs and pharm), but also IM (lots of chem and drug-based subspecialties like ID, nephrology or hepatology), psych (addiction), EM (toxicology), path (clinical chem), or maybe neuro. There are probably lots of other things that I haven't even conceived of since I have yet to begin my rotations. You will probably find the same thing to be true for you too.

    Also, FYI the AAMC has a website you can use to help you figure out what specialties might be good matches for you based on your interests, personality, values, and lifestyle preferences. You can't access it until you start school, but once you get there, ask your student dean for the code to give you access. :luck: to you. :)

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