Hello Again

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Self Proclaimed Ninja
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2002
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I am back from about a 2 year break from these forums ::eek:

I am currently finishing my soph year of college.

This summer I am going to be doing cancer research at Wash U in St. Louis.

At this point in my life I have not had any research experience whatsoever, considering that I wanted to do only MD.

However at some point I decided to start doing research and now here I am with this summer fellowship.

My question is a general one about the MD/PhD program. If I know for sure that I want to do research (which I do not but I hope to find out this summer) is there a monetary/logical benefit to do the MD/PhD thing or simply get the PhD in my desired area?

And trust me I am not a money grubbing selfish person by any means, but I do have concerns about my future. ;)


10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2003
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Welcome back. I'm assuming you don't know the basics, so here they are:

You get full tuition and fee waivers as well as a stipend from most MD/PhD programs. Contact schools that interest you to find out their funding policies.

Assuming you want to do research for a career: The combined degree program is beneficial. It provides you with the graduate curriculum along with that of the medical school in an integrated way. Plus, you get the PhD research training which will be valuable training for your future career. Someone with only the MD will have an extra period of adjustment going into a post-doctoral fellowship, and you will have an advantage over those people.

Assuming you do not want to do research for a career: Graduates of combined degree programs (and especially medical scientist training programs) tend to do VERY well during the residency match.

I personally would advise against going the MD/PhD route if you do not want to devote a significant portion of your career to research. You would be taking valuable resources from someone who might put them to better use.

This website will be helpful:

Also, the AAMC website has limited information on MD/PhD programs in the US and Canada (www.aamc.org). You will find many other valuable links on the intransit.us website.

Good luck!