How redundant is a PhD in Pathology for an MD/PhD student

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by pathdr2b, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Hello!

    I am interviewing next week for a PhD program in Pathology at a local university and I'm also very interested in Pathology from a Physician's point of view. I was wondering what you knowledgable interns/residents think of an MD/PhD student that wants to be a pathologist getting a PhD in Pathology. The medical school at the instutution I'm interviewing at has a "track" for medical students interested in Pathology.


    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Common guys, no one has an opinion on this?
     
  4. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer

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    Sorry, must have missed your post.

    A PhD in path would be a great start to a career in path, but depending on your goals may not be needed. There are tons of path folks with MD-Phds, mostly in academics. Mostly people who want to be researchers as well as clinicians. If your goal is to go into private practice a PhD is not really necessary.

    Many med schools have MD-PhD programs. But, it sounds to me you are considering getting your PhD prior to med school. So are you asking if this will help you get into med school? If you are, sure it will any post-grad training can help with that. Though I can think of some better options than getting a PhD in path.

    Good luck.
     
  5. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Thanks for the response. I'm actually planning on applying to combined MD/PhD programs next summer. Currently, I'm in a fellowship at NCI and I've met some MD pathologists doing research I'm very interested in (I'll be working with one beginning next June).

    Also, when I looked at the research I'm interested in doing (Breast/Ovarian Cancer) being done at the universities on my list, I noticed that the overwhelming majority were in departments of pathology. That's where the idea originally came from. I also know of a Maryland medical school that has a "fast track" for students that want to be pathologists. I just wanted to get the opinion of individuals that could offer some knowledge in this area.

    Again, thanks for responding!
     
  6. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member

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    pathdr2b,

    I think doing a MD/PhD with the PhD in experimental pathology would be a great way to complement your eventual training in a pathology residency (I have thought about doing the same in combination with residency). A PhD in any field would probably serve as a solid foundation for an academic career in pathology, but if you already know that you want to be a pathologist and the labs you are interested in happen to be in pathology departments, then it could be the best move for you. Since you are just starting med school, though, you should consider the possibility that your career plans may change, in which case a PhD in a more traditional biosci dept may have broader appeal to other specialties. Either way, you seem well on your way to wherever you are going, but you still have enough time to change your path (no pun intended) many times over. I would recommend exposing yourself to as many of the other medical fields as possible during your first 2 years of med school before you start your PhD training. Who knows, you may find that you love being in the OR or that you want to treat cancer patients as an oncologist or that you really do want to become a pathologist. At least then, you could gear your thesis towards the specialty you are heading for, rather than letting your thesis guide you towards a specialty you might not be interested in.
     
  7. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Great suggestion! I interviewed recently for PhD programs in Oncology, Genetics, and Pharmacology. Sometimes I do think it would be best to be open minded in my selection of PhD focus with my only requirement be that it be related in some way to medicine. I seriously doubt I'd consider surgery or onc due to the call schedule (I have a family) but who knows? I'll just take it as it comes!! Thanks!
     
  8. augmel

    augmel Senior Member

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    how do i find out about the maryland "fast track" program?
     

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