how harmful is doing research only in one lab

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by MD4life, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. MD4life

    MD4life Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everyone,

    This is my first question, I wanted to know how much will doing research only in one lab harm you.

    you see I would have left my lab, last year but my PI would not let me and it would have jeopardized my letter of rec.
    I have been in my lab for 3 years and I am currently working under an NIH grant independently.

    However I did work on two different projects under 2 different post docs
     
  2. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like I always say quality, not quantity! It does not matter if you work in ten labs or only one (I think). It all boils down to your ability to talk about your research in detail and have a good understanding of what you did. Some school may look down on people who hooped labs like 3 times in a year, but you only put what you want them to see on the app. Consistency is always good.
    I know very few who have worked in many labs, most search around find one and stay with it, if everything works. Some only change after something is wrong, or they are not comfortable, or my reason not learning anything and the PI is never there.

    A NIH grant never hurts!!
    Don't worry:cool:
     
  3. jot

    jot

    i guess the longer one has been in any place the deeper they expect their knowledge to be - somewhere i think sluox reported that the ucla mstp director said that there is no bias to 1 lab for 3 years to 3 labs for 1 year. so just know your stuff! goodluck,
    -jot
     
  4. sluox

    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    614
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    jot is correct...the director at UCLA told me that. However, i think there may be practical problems with working just in one lab. most schools request 2 if not 3 letters of recommendation from your reserach advisor. if you worked in several labs, then you'd have several lab heads to write letters for you. otherwise it's the knowledge of the reserach, not the number of labs that's important.
     
  5. CaNEM

    CaNEM Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2002
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    4
    The impression I have always been given by PhD & MD/PhD admissions people is that a lot of work over an extended time period on one project in one lab is what they like best. This shows dedication and it is also indicative that you will be able to stick with the same project for several years when completing your PhD thesis. Why do some of you think it is a DISadvantage to stay in the same lab?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. sluox

    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    614
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    personally i loved moving around to different labs and see different projects. i've worked in theory for a while, and am now working on an experimental project. Also, different profs have different styles. Plus, I was just an undergrad, i didn't want to get stuck in a single lab!! I'm not even sure what I want to do with my life yet!! :D hope this helps
     
  7. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mine is kinda different. Same lab during the year,but different labs during the summer. So I get a little variety in my life. Nice to meet new people, and learn new ways to do things, ohh and the food !:laugh:
     
  8. MD4life

    MD4life Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for all your replies, it was very helpful!!!
     
  9. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    worked in one lab for 3 years, starting in hs

    one lab during the course of one year in college...actually i'm only gonna be starting my a second semester of that next fall...so i'm anticipating :)

    also done 2 summer projects thru training programs. one was completely ******ed and hell. the other i'm at right now is great.

    i don't know if working in these different labs help or not. i do have one first author pub in a good journal, one attendance at prof scientific meeting, one abstract published first author of course...i have 1 second author that'll come out in print soon i think.

    and of course the best news, the research i'm doing now is going so well, my prof said it'll prob be published in NATURE YALL!!! first author of course. :)
     
  10. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,823
    Likes Received:
    4
    Dr Kevin40,
    Thats some amazing stuff!:eek: Most people get their PhDs without dreaming of publishing in Nature. Congrats man! So will you be applying MD/PhD?
     
  11. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks man! but those phDs do their work on a continous project. most of my work is on different projects, albeit they were independent work they don't connect at all..

    i don't know if i'll be applying md/phd. I honestly LOVE RESEARCH, but don't know if i want to grad 3 yrs later than my college friends. plus i odn't know anyone else applying md/phd so that's y i was hoping to get that list going so we can all share some concerns, etc.

    I think maybe the md/phds r nicer than the mds on the other threads. if those mds saw waht i posted, 1) they woulda laughed and thought i was making a joke or that 2) i was being arrogant or 3) something to that effect.
     
  12. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    Original,

    oh i thought u were in our app cycle, but just realized that u r @ duke already. congrats. :) do u have anything u'd like to share about that school's md/phd program? like how long is it? flexibility, etc.

    (and i must add, i'm not published or even submitted to nature yet. but its still nice to have my PI who is very famous say that to me)
     
  13. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,823
    Likes Received:
    4
    I'm not at Duke already, but I'll be there in a bit over 48 hrs if I don't fall asleep while driving there :D. Duke's program is [email protected] We'll finish the basic medical science coursework in 11 months instead of the traditional 2 yrs; then we'll be off to the wards to do our core-clerkships (13 month duration). At the end of this, we muddphudders begin grad school while the rest of the class get what is called the elective (scholarly) year. In this 3rd yr a good % of the class will get MPHs, a few will expand it into 3 yrs and get JDs, a few will get MBAs from Fuqua, a few will do mission work in developing countries, and some will do independent research. Hopefully no one will go and act porn in Hollywood during this year "off". Then everyone comes back for the 4th yr which is basically a yr for clinical electives, away-rotations, residency application/interviews and the like. The only requirement is that you be at Duke during the last quarter of this year for graduation.

    Now you can see that Duke is awesome right? Extremely flexible! Your fate is put in your hands and you write your own ticket. The curriculum is unique and revolutionary. The science going on there is mad-crazy, and the clinical training is top-notch. That's why the entire class matches (NRMP) so well.

    There are 100 students in the class, 12 of which are in the MSTP; so I guess 12% of the class are in the MSTP:D. The students finish in about 7yrs (few in 6). Due to the condensed 1st yr, 7yrs there is the equivalent of 8 yrs at a "traditional" school. Another huge advantage enabled by the unique curriculum is that one is essentially done with med school clinical training prior to hitting up the lab. This pulls everything into perspective by helping one match one's clinical interests (you've been on the ward and know what you like and don't) with one's research interests. It also gives one great insight into the kind of physician-scientist one would like to become. It's much better than having to go 6 yrs at some places without really getting to see a patient.

    Enough PR from me:D. I hope you decide to apply MD/PhD. Feel free to ask if you have any more Qs.
     
  14. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, Dr. kevin 40. Very impressive stuff, you should apply to Md/Ph.d..but only if you want to. Very competitive applicant.
     
  15. Oh c'mon Dr. Kev... Don't start a war. I think the whole SDN has been really very supportive (by and large) of everyone's application and progress regardless of degree program.

    Good luck on the papers!
    Jayvee
     
  16. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    jayvee,

    i don't think that's necessarily true. i think there r quite a few petty premeds who jump on everything. there r a lot less aspiring md/phds so maybe that's y we seem nicer

    hi exigente chica...was anyone ready for yo jelly last night? or did u kick back at home..:) i was at the lab til 8pm, 9pm the night b4.
     
  17. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey Dr. Kevin,
    Naw, I just chilled last night, worked pretty late in lab. But that just means OVERTIME tonite!!! Let's see if they can handle this JELLY tonite. Got some new threads and VIP..wanna come?


    Ohh yeah:laugh:
     
  18. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    exigente chic,

    well i don't know how to salsa dance at all, but if u ever go to hip hop club or techno place i promise i won't embarass :) i'm actually pretty decent dancer. i have a question for u. if med school asks u what u like to do on ur spare time, would u say u like to go clubbing? i'm debating whether i should say yes to that.
     
  19. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    kevin:

    Well, you might say that you like to dance or listen to music or something like that, but I wouldn't say that you like to party or go clubbing. It might not project the image you want them to see, if you know what I mean :)

    good luck,

    Adam
     
  20. yeah, i debated that too. I've been really into techno for the past few years and have been DJing. I wanted to put it into my application as it's something important to me and part of my life (and explains what i've been doing with my time) but in the end, I went ahead and didn't include it just because the adcoms might see clubbing/techno as a sign of not being serious... but who knows, maybe they club too.

    -- i still think the premeds are just as friendly as the pre-mdphds...
     
  21. longhorn

    longhorn Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the pre-meds on SDN are very nice with the exception of a few bad apples. I am a applying straight MD and had a question for you "muddphuders". First off, lets say I have a luke warm at best ,opinion of MD/PhD. I really do not see how it is very different from an MD/MS or an MD who is heavily involved in research. Now ofcourse it varies from field to field, but what advantage does an MD/PhD have over a research oriented physician? I know all of you are going to try to link medicine and research in essays and interviews...yadda yadda yadda. But if they are so inexplicably linked, why can't, as an example, an MDmake a great cancer researcher. I am of the opinion that Md/Phd do not make good MDs, but a well trained MD can be a good clinician and scientist. Im workin' at the NIH this summer and I amazed at the number of MD's who work here as well. Just my opinion though, what do y'all think?
     
  22. Bikini Princess

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd be interested to hear responses for this question too. The only response I have is that it helps with funding, since it's tough for people with MD-only backgrounds to get money from PhD-dominated funding committees, especially in their first 10 years.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. longhorn

    longhorn Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yea, I mean anyone can see the advantages over a PhD. More money, way more job security, and lets be honest you guys are smart fools. But everyone tries to feed this bs about the interface of medicine and science. There is an interface, and its meet through MDs and PhDs working together, not people who try to do both. How can one man or woman do a better job then to specialists working together. Maybe I am nieve, but I do see alot of MDs in research
     
  24. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2002
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Longhorn:

    Firstly, I would have to agree with you in some respects. While the clinician scientist who completes an MD/PhD (either as a dual degree or separately) has had the formalized training in research, this does not preclude straight MDs from having the same insight into research. Indeed, if you were to look at the publications in whatever field you are interested in, you will see far more MDs than MD/PhDs in the authorship lists. However, many of the MDs who are interested in academics undertake at least a year of research training (although 2+ is probably more common) to acquire the insight into the investigative process. Obviously, the ability to develop a research question, formalize an approach, troubleshoot along the way (as there are ALWAYS problems) and drive a project to completion is not unique to MD/PhDs. What is unique to the dual degree is the "other" stuff that comes in the combined degree - these include advanced coursework, defending ones research (have you been to a scientific meeting? - you will see that scientists are highly critical of work), the ability to communicate scientifically (trust me, there is much more to it than what people are exposed to in O-chem lab reports), the ability to formulate and write a research proposal, etc, etc, etc.

    In short, I think that the PhD is an invaluable asset to any physician, and the two are not mutually exlusive, but complement one another.

    However, as an MSIII who has just returned to my clinical rotations after completing my PhD, I will have to highly disagree with your belief that MD/PhDs do not make good physicians. On the contrary, the PhD enables you to be a better physician. As I have returned to the wards, I notice that when topics of patient management come up I am far more critical of the evidence for a certain treatment, am more likely to go directly to the primary literature and when I read the evidence, know the difference between the sensitivity and specificity of a certain test... I remember that as an MS I and II, I always thought that the lecturers knew everything current, and that was that - but now I am able to critically analyze the data presented to me (whether it is on the ward, in team meetings or at grand rounds) and make my own informed decisions based on the evidence or ask the appropriate questions. Overall, I will be a better physician for having these skills.

    I won't comment on the importance the PhD to research, as this would be stating the obvious.

    I would ask that should you obtain admission to medical school that you approach your training with an open mind, and realize that the MD/PhDs (who are everywhere in an academic environment) are able to discuss the impact of disease from the molecular level to the impact on society - such breadth of knowledge is what the combined degree is all about - clearly, a significant amount of the clinical accumen and insight you will obtain during your medical career will be from the interaction you will have with these individuals...

    Airborne
     
  25. Bikini Princess

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    (have you presented a patient in grand rounds, or attended a M&M meeting? - you will see that doctors are highly critical of work too. :) ) Thanks for the advice though. :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  26. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2002
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
  27. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks rumit and jayvee. jayvee u r dj huh? cool. techno aint' my thang (as i'm more into hip hop dancing) but i was into the whole rave scene for awhile. prob shouldn't mention that either :)



    a lot of mds r incompetent researchers. they don't know much about the nitty gritty of biological systems, esp mol/cell/neuro-biology.
     
  28. Any arguments for Md/PhD (combined) vs. MD first followed by PhD? I've heard arguments both ways but mostly that MD+PhD is best if you have the time for it because you ensure you can focus on one thing at a time...

    Any MdPhDs out there who feel that they are spreading themselves too thin?

    --

    Dr Kev- yeah, i get into some hiphop stuff too... especially on that line where techno/electronica merges into downtempo/hiphop... Animals on Wheels/Cinematic Orchestra type stuff... but totally a different thread.
     
  29. longhorn

    longhorn Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    HIP HOP RULES!! Anyway, in reply to the MDPhD student's commetns, who wants someone doing literature searches while your dying. If anything I feel being TOO scientific has the potential to hurt medicine. Doctors posses the scientific reasoning complemented with the "Patients are people, not experiments" objective. You muddphudders have a tight rope to walk. YOu want to help people, but science is not always the best philosophy. Sometimes drugs or treatments just work because they do, no mechinism or theory is needed. Basically, whatthink I am saying is never forget which degree comes first. It is MD then PhD. Never put research ahead of patients...
     
  30. Bikini Princess

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure if a grant committee would share your viewpoint. :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  31. i'll have to take issue with that part... i think MD "philosophy" is based on scientific method and principle. There are, however, plenty of people who hold the belief that "science is not always the best philosophy" but maybe that belongs more in a Complementary Medicine forum (i.e. acupuncture, herbal medicine, healing crystals, and other alternatives to western science.
     
  32. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    In reply to Longhorn's comments:

    Yes, you bring up several important issues that need to be addressed.

    First, the MD/PhD dual degree is a unique program designed to generate physician-scientists who investigate basic problems to further our understanding of disease in order to ultimately be able to better treat patients.

    The MD/PhD is unique and much different than just an MD or an MD/MS. In completing the Ph.D., you gain significant experience in research, and really learn how to do science to the point that you are qualified to be an independent investigator. This means having an understanding of basic problems and formulating strategies or approaches to tackle them. The training in an MS program, while valuable, is not as extensive as a Ph.D. program. The requirements are different and less is expected in the way of scientific accomplishment. If you just go the MD route, you miss out on the graduate school experience and all the learning that takes place there.

    Medical school and graduate school are very different animals. In the former, the focus is on acquiring a encylopedic-like education that gives you breadth of medical knowledge and allows you to approach patient's health problems. Given the vast amount of information that must be taught, relatively little time is spent showing data or critically analyzing results or supposed "facts". Instead, you are expected to just digest the information, with little thinking involved.

    In graduate school, by contrast, the focus is less on breadth and more on delving into specific topics in order to develop critical thinking skills and to learn how to formulate questions and approaches for answering them. Students are encouraged to question material presented. In my medical school classes, very rarely does anyone do this--in fact it is often discouraged. However, in graduate classes I have taken, professors encourage us to ask questions, dispute unsupported assertions, and otherwise think like scientists. Graduate program requirements vary, but usually include coursework, teaching experience, research rotations, journal clubs, retreats, an oral examination, and of course the thesis defense. This provides extensive training in learning to be a scientist, which you simply do not get in medical school alone.

    Another issue you bring up is that of MDs doing bench research. While they are certainly capable of running a lab eventually, the problem is that MDs often have a greater initial learning curve--it takes them years during postdoctoral fellowship work to get themselves up to speed. In addition, the number of MDs going into research has dropped significantly over the past years. MD/PhD graduates are much more likely to go into research careers than their MD counterparts. Furthermore, MDs are as a group less successful than MD/PhDs at obtaining academic positions, research funding, and other measures of scientific success. While this doesn't mean that MDs can't do research (there are many examples that highlight the contrary), it does shed light on some of the advantages of the MD/PhD pathway.

    While it may seem like medicine and science have many similarities, they are actually quite different worlds, with different types of people, philosophies, ways of thinking and communicating, etc. MD/PhDs provide an essential link or bridge between these worlds, because they have the breadth of clinical knowledge provided by medical school and the scientific know-how gained through graduate training. I have seen many examples of MD/PhDs acting as that bridge and directly integrating their clinical practice and basic research interests. It's not easy to do by a longshot, but it is at least possible.

    I agree with your comments regarding the necessity for humanity in medicine. One certainly wouldn't want to approach patients from a purely "scientific" perspective, which has the connotation of being cold, heartless, and only interested in experiments. I think what airborne was getting at is that MD/PhDs are already trained to think critically and use good reasoning skills when they hit the wards. They are also better able to search the literature and find support for therapies and alternatives. Despite the rise of "evidence based medicine", there are still many echos of the old days in which things are done a certain way because of tradition. Until put to the test under randomized controlled trials (which are in themselves a sort of experimental paradigm), a particular course of action may only serve to propagate the status quo and in fact not offer the best possible medical care. Case in point: the recent NEJM article that showed a type of athroscopic knee surgery is no more effective than a sham surgery (I have no idea how they were able to get that one past the human ethics board...).

    In shadowing my former research advisor (who is an MD/PhD), I have often observed him bring research to the bedside. An example is being able to discuss the latest advances in our knowlege of certain disorders and offer some hope that potential therapies are up and coming. He also goes the other way and brings his clinical practice to the bench in studying the genetics of certain disorders. What amazes me the most is that despite the profound scientific knowledge and training, he is also a very empathic physician who is able to reassure patients and provide support despite the presently incurable diseases that many of them have.

    I hope this has helped answer some of your questions. If you have additional ones, I'd be happy to discuss. :D
     
  33. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great post vader! it got me thinking more seriously about applying md/phd
     
  34. Gradient Echo

    Gradient Echo Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    1
    You have absolutely zero basis for this. None whatsoever.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  35. Gradient Echo

    Gradient Echo Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    1
    There will be more MDs than MD/PhDs in research for quite some time, due to the fact that MD/PhD programs are still small relative to the MD class, and not all schools have MD/PhD programs.

    Instead of comparing sheer numbers, you should compare proportions of each group. There was a document floating around on the NIH website somewhere that compared MD/PhD grads to MD grads who went into academic medicine. Generally, it showed that MD/PhD grads were more successful compared to the MD-only group.

    the bottom line is that you can do research with an MD only, and there are many that continue to do that. But if you know in advance that you want to have a major focus in your career in transitional/basic science research and also want to treat patients, then MD/PhD is the most optimal pathway.

    Longhorn,

    Its always good to raise questions, but I sense a certain amount of hostility in your tone towards md/phds that goes beyond just normal questioning.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  36. Gradient Echo

    Gradient Echo Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    1
    Fools in what way? Please enlighten us, o great one

    Sounds like you have a very limited view of the scope of medical research. I'm glad the rest of us didnt get caught up in your self-imposed, artificial boundaries


    Again, you seem to have a very limited view of collaborations in medical research. There is no one right way to do this. You need MDs, PhDs, and MD/PhDs at the table. I dont understand why you have to have such a restricted view of the different possibilities in research

    Naive is not the right word, but I would say you jump to conclusions and assume that because there are many MDs in research, that MD/PhDs have nothing to offer in addition. Just because there are lots of MDs in research does not mean that an MD/PhD is worthless.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  37. longhorn

    longhorn Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off when you quote me please don' t take things out of context. I said and I quote " I am of the opinion that Md/Phd do not make good MDs, but a well trained MD can be a good clinician and scientist. " My experiences in the medical field speaking and dealing with MDs, PhDs, and MD/PhDs have formulated this OPINION. which could easily change.

    Also, when I say smart fools I don't mean it as an oxymoron. Fools in my lingo just means people. So to rephrase, you guys/gals are really smart.

    As for the rest of your comments I think they were very strong. I am just curious to hear the advantages of MD/PhD vs. MD.

    I really feel no animosity towards muddphudders. I should be happy I am not in direct competion with you highly qualified applicants for an MD.
     
  38. longhorn

    longhorn Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    I meant that as an MD you will come across treatments that are not fully based on science. Some things just work and the top priority is the result on the patient not the why. If you want some examples I would be glad to give you some
     
  39. Bikini Princess

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for the perspective, vader! :) :) I've heard they ask you the why MD/PhD stuff a lot, so your response is really helpful.

    btw, i think longhorn meant well...there's lots of people who are constructively critical of the MD/PhD degree. Some people always laugh when I say MD/PhD, that I'd be better just doing MD, just doing PhD. :roilleyes:

    I was eating lunch with a prof and he said that by the time you do your post-doc for MD/PhD, it will have been over 5 years, and your PhD thesis will be outdated, so you won't have anything to "hang your post-doctoral hat on". Any replies to this comment?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  40. wgu

    wgu Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    7
    Vader, that was insanely comprehensive :D
    Well I believe we're all after the same bottomline goals- healthcare of patients. I'm glad to hear there are such diverse approaches out there.
     
  41. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    When I tell people I'm doing the MD/PhD thing they usually give me a funny look and then ask "what do you want to do with that in the future?" For a moment I flirt with replying, 'well, I'll be a shoe-in for the "most educated" award at my ten-year high school reunion--I'll probably be the only person still in school!" But then I usually just give the standard medicine, science and teaching combo spiel. The eyebrows raises never cease to amaze me. :D

    In reply to the comment on your PhD being outdated, that is often true. After two years on the wards and then internship/residency if you decide to go that pathway, you will be at least 5 years removed from full time benchwork. However, what you should remember is that the Ph.D., especially for MD/PhDs, is meant to give you excellent scientific training that will allow you to pursue research questions regardless of the particular field you eventually choose. Your research interests may change as you experience more clinical medicine, so having this flexibility is an advantage. In no way are you necessarily locked into your one particular area. In fact, since you have the breadth of medical knowledge, you can more easily move around and change fields later on.

    Furthermore, many residencies will offer fast-track positions for MD/PhDs with protected time for research. There are training grants available from NIH and other sources that provide a lead-in to academic careers. So postdoctoral work at a major academic medical center is not difficult to find for MD/PhDs.

    Finally, you can always keep up with certain fields, even if not directly involved, by reading the literature.

    Hope this helps... :D
     
  42. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Kevin,

    Been gone all weekend, my bad. I also like hip-hop and techno..I can dance ANYTHING..as long as you can go all night, it's fine:D I've been know to close down the clubs!! In Miami the clubs have all three rooms, one for techno, on for hip-hop and for salsa. So you go from the launch, to fatty girl, to llorras all in one nite!!! Yeah...and I be on the stage rockin in each room:laugh:
    I will look you up when in Cali!


    And yes, I will tell med schools that I like to dance, because it is my hobby! But in a good way, I compete and teach classes, and most of the schools I am applying to have a ballroom team, so I could be an asset.you see. Not just I like to go clubbin. I LOVE to DANCE:love:
     
  43. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think i'm in :love: with exigente chick too!

    wow...the magic words "all night"
     
  44. shamus1

    shamus1 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    [ Basically, whatthink I am saying is never forget which degree comes first. It is MD then PhD. Never put research ahead of patients... [/B][/QUOTE]

    Point of clarification,the combined degree is called MD/PhD rather than PhD/MD because the MD is considered to be the lesser degree. For example, a person lists a BS or an MBA before she lists the MD; it has nothing to do with either the alphabetic or chronologic order of the degrees.

    To condense Vader's exhaustive treatise, the MD is about acquiring knowledge and skills, the PhD is about creating new knowledge. Another example: Vinh, my auto mechanic, acquired the skills to repair my Mazda, for this I was very grateful last week, though it thinned my wallet a great deal. A whole bunch of people created the knowleged that brought about the invention of cars in general, and my 1988 626 in particular. Without those folks, Vinh might be repairing shoes or selling bicycles. I appreciate everything Vinh does for me, but he is no more (or less) important than those who created the original knowledge.

    I ain't jonin' on MDs here and certainly wouldn't want to be receive a liver transplant from a researcher with no MD training. We need both clinical people and research people. AND we need a few folks who have the unique perspective that comes from the MD/PhD. Research is at the core of Western medicine. (Not that the West cannot stand to learn a few things from the Orient and more holistic approaches to disease.)

    I think that the sentiment that MDs are superior to MD/PhDs or PhDs (or vice versa) is valuable only for what it reveals about the person who expresses the sentiment.
    :rolleyes:
     
  45. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Thanks... when I start writing about the topic I get on a roll. ;)

    Actually, there are some people who put the PhD before MD in their title. Both degrees are doctorates, the MD a professional degree and the PhD an academic one. I've seen it both ways. As a side note, I've seen MD/PhDs listed and referred to as "So and So, MD" in the context of clinical practice. However, most commonly, especially in scientific publication, you see the degrees listed as "MD, PhD". This all being said, the order is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. :D
     
  46. none

    none 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    5
    Application without science is a very dangerous road to travel down. Certainly we should not deny patients access to useful treatments, but we should be forever vigilant towards understanding how they work, lest we deny ourselves access to future better treatments and run the risk of horrendous side-effects.
     
  47. Bikini Princess

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    (snip n'clip into MSTP essay.) thanks! :) j/k
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  48. none

    none 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    5
    The sad thing is, I actually talk like that. heh...
     
  49. Bikini Princess

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    do you have IM? (aol, yahoo, etc?)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  50. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page