TI-83

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
3
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Medical Student
Hello SDN!

New account for anonymity.

So my ultimate goal is to get into a strong academic research focused residency in order to one day have a career in academic medicine. My medical school offers a no extra time (so still only 4 years) M.D./M.S. degree where course work is taken over the summers it sounds like an amazing program that is very open to helping work with me in balancing the two commitments. The only thing is it costs 10-12,000$.

So I was wondering if this was a smart financial decision in order to help me reach my goals for academic research heavy residency and in future job prospects in academic medicine.

Thanks in advance for your responses,
TI-83
 

Bigwill6709

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2014
18
12
Columbia, SC
Status
Medical Student
I'm an M3, but I did an MS before medical school. I truly think that it will help set me apart from some of the other applicants during residency interviews (I too wish to go to a strong academic program), but there's a catch. My degree was research-focused. While there was some coursework, the thing that makes my degree valuable is the research it allowed me to do. In my experience, no one cares about degrees, but they do care about what research you've done. If the MS degree at your school allows you to get 5 first author papers, it's certainly worth it and will generate much interest from academic residency programs, but simply having 2 extra letters after your name seems like a waste of money and effort.
 
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Jun 13, 2016
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I think if you truly want the research experience rather than the letters try to get funding for an extra research year. Yes, it is extra time but you could get some good authorships from it which matters for than the M.S. letters would and would be funded rather than costing you extra
 
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Señor S

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Jul 28, 2014
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What classes would you be taking? Things like Stats and Research Methods would probably be worthwhile, but random Biology stuff might not be.
 
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Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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You don't need the MS for the path you wish to take. Do a fellowship at NIH.
 

wholeheartedly

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are you wanting to do basic science research or more clinical/translational type stuff?
 
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TI-83

TI-83

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
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Medical Student
@Señor S The classes are stats, couple journal clubs, and a scientific writing class designed to help you write up your research and submit for publication. The program is research focused and research is allowed to be done in any specialty. I would already be doing research and trying to get published as well as having to learn stats so all the work would be relevant.

@wholeheartedly I want to get into clinical/translational type stuff and this would allow me to do that type of research for the masters. They are very open to allowing you do the type and field of research desired.

@psychhopefull2016 @Goro I plan on possibly taking a year off to do research but the year off programs are competitive so I don't want to assume I can just get one and it is a extra year added on... but getting funded and not having to pay 10-12 thousand is big
 

wholeheartedly

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Administrator
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Aug 8, 2009
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@Señor S The classes are stats, couple journal clubs, and a scientific writing class designed to help you write up your research and submit for publication. The program is research focused and research is allowed to be done in any specialty. I would already be doing research and trying to get published as well as having to learn stats so all the work would be relevant.

@wholeheartedly I want to get into clinical/translational type stuff and this would allow me to do that type of research for the masters. They are very open to allowing you do the type and field of research desired.

@psychhopefull2016 @Goro I plan on possibly taking a year off to do research but the year off programs are competitive so I don't want to assume I can just get one and it is a extra year added on... but getting funded and not having to pay 10-12 thousand is big
If it was basic science, I would say just focus on research. But I think the yearlong masters or certificate programs in clinical and translational science can be valuable in getting more comfortable with biostats, epidemiology, study designs, regulatory and other issues related to those types of research. So if the coursework and research covered that, then it might be worth it for you. So you'll really need to evaluate what those courses you'd take will cover. On the other hand, there are residency/fellowship programs that will provide these opportunities to you without the added cost. You could just try to do a project now and go that route later in your training.
 

cbrons

Ratatoskr! *Roar*
10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2007
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DEFEND MIDDLE LANE!
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Hello SDN!

New account for anonymity.

So my ultimate goal is to get into a strong academic research focused residency in order to one day have a career in academic medicine. My medical school offers a no extra time (so still only 4 years) M.D./M.S. degree where course work is taken over the summers it sounds like an amazing program that is very open to helping work with me in balancing the two commitments. The only thing is it costs 10-12,000$.

So I was wondering if this was a smart financial decision in order to help me reach my goals for academic research heavy residency and in future job prospects in academic medicine.

Thanks in advance for your responses,
TI-83
What classes would you be taking? Things like Stats and Research Methods would probably be worthwhile, but random Biology stuff might not be.
If it was basic science, I would say just focus on research. But I think the yearlong masters or certificate programs in clinical and translational science can be valuable in getting more comfortable with biostats, epidemiology, study designs, regulatory and other issues related to those types of research. So if the coursework and research covered that, then it might be worth it for you. So you'll really need to evaluate what those courses you'd take will cover. On the other hand, there are residency/fellowship programs that will provide these opportunities to you without the added cost. You could just try to do a project now and go that route later in your training.
I want to address this whole issue of scam degree programs being offered as an adjunct to traditional medical school curriculum. Its that time of year when the new M1s are at orientation and being sold this non-sense by their admistrators.

The purpose of so-called higher education is NOT really to gain knowledge (not of biostats, epidemiology, research methods, etc.). There are very rare exceptions, but by and large, the purpose of getting a degree is to gain Credentials. Specifically credentials requisite to pursuing a specific career path.

See this is often confusing to people because of all the propaganda, but think about it. If you really wanted to learn biostats, the last thing you should do is pay thousands of dollars to some corrupt group of schmucks called university administrators who in turn will pay some a$$hat to stand in front of a room and read you a series of powerpoint slides made by a textbook company (that you also had to pay hundreds of dollars).

In the modern day, you can simply go on your computer or cell phone or (if old school) to your local library. You can access free lectures (by lecturers far better than the average professor) and you can essentially teach yourself.

The benefits of modern tech mean that you dont have to spend a year learning stuff in the most inefficient way possible.

See back in the day, before the internets, there was an argument for extra coursework because that was really the only way to learn directly from people with intimate subject knowledge. But thats not the case today.

Earlier there was a thread where a young lady was saying she got into a med school program that was an extra year so they could spend 12 months learning "rural sociology." Said lady thought taking that curriculum would help her become a rural physician. Of course, you do not need to incur the opportunity cost of an extra year of school plus tuition just to practice rural medicine (nor do you need it to do NIH research).

If on the other hand its the M.S. degree you are after for its own sake, you have to ask yourself the question, "are these 2 letters required for me to do what I want?" In the case of the OP, the answer is a resounding No.

Sent from my SM-N910P using SDN mobile
 

Phloston

Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2012
3,660
1,353
Osaka, Japan
Hello SDN!

New account for anonymity.

So my ultimate goal is to get into a strong academic research focused residency in order to one day have a career in academic medicine. My medical school offers a no extra time (so still only 4 years) M.D./M.S. degree where course work is taken over the summers it sounds like an amazing program that is very open to helping work with me in balancing the two commitments. The only thing is it costs 10-12,000$.

So I was wondering if this was a smart financial decision in order to help me reach my goals for academic research heavy residency and in future job prospects in academic medicine.

Thanks in advance for your responses,
TI-83
Don't do something just because you think it will help you get in somewhere. If it's an opportunity you actually want to seize, for what it really is, then do it.

Financially, only you can make that call. Everyone has a different perspective on money. But to be honest, an MS that only costs an extra 10-12k? That sounds cheap.
 

IlDestriero

Ether Man
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Nov 24, 2007
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The ivory tower.
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Attending Physician
You can do research in the field of your choice for free over the summers. Paying for a masters degree is pretty questionable. If you want specific statistics classes, etc. take them on your own over the summers while doing research, either there or online.
If you really want a research based academic career (75%+ non clinical time), as opposed to a clinical career that also does some research (20-50% non clinical time), you need significant research experience, active mentorship, experience writing grant applications, etc. To do that you need significant long term research time. You can get that in a PhD, research fellowships, etc. I will add that you don't necessarily need that for matching at a strong academic residency, but you will need that to join the faculty in a true research (tenure) track. The part time researcher track has a much lower bar for admission and promotion.


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Il Destriero