Feb 11, 2021
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  1. Psychology Student
Currently, I am attending graduate school to obtain my master's in behavioral neuroscience and am in the process of narrowing down programs to apply for a Ph.D. However, I feel exceptionally passionate about medical research and I'm not sure if a Ph.D. alone will be able to grant me access to that kind of research. I was hoping anyone here could shed some light on the limitation of being only a Ph.D. holder in regards to medical research. Additionally, if there was any advice you could provide for someone who is not on a pre-med track to gaining the essential competencies for medical school (provided I end up going this route). I'm currently in the second semester of my MA and intended to graduate in the spring of 2022. But, my program does not put an emphasis on biology or chemistry specifically. Rather I have taken neuroanatomy and molecular neuroscience.


import pandas as pd
Feb 5, 2020
The Great Midwest Mountains
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  1. Pre-Medical
There's been several other threads posed like this recently so I would definitely encourage you to glance at those.

To me it really just comes down to whether or not you want to also treat patients. If you think it might be cool to treat patients but you're not sure then I don't think its worth it to tack on med school + residency + fellowship. You're much better off skipping all that extra training and start doing high powered research right away. If you can't possibly see yourself not treating patients then I think the MD/PhD is a great route. However there are plenty of PhD's that do outstanding medical research. In fact I would argue that PhD's have a better chance of doing truly ground-breaking research because their time isn't split between medicine and research.
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15+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2002
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  1. Attending Physician
Do a search. The bottom line is a typical salary for a PhD is 80k and you can barely find a job. The typical salary for an MD is 250k+ and you can find a job pretty much everywhere. Everything else follows.
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