DocJohnson

10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2009
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone - I spoke to a neurosurgeon yesterday who gave me some good insight as to where I am really leaning in my career options. I am currently in the middle of med school apps, and see my end result as doing research directly on patients (ex - investigating brain 'pacemakers' for neuropsychological purposes) as well as becoming a professor. He stated that with an MD/MPH I could be done with my path within 5 years, come out doing research and immediately as associate faculty. My research so far makes me think the MPH is more for people interested in helping the public - ie people without money. Noble as it is, this is not what I want to do. I can't even tell if the path he suggested would lead to what I want. I don't really see myself doing only a PhD. Any thoughts are GREATLY appreciated. thanks!
 

PremedIowa

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 12, 2008
472
1
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone - I spoke to a neurosurgeon yesterday who gave me some good insight as to where I am really leaning in my career options. I am currently in the middle of med school apps, and see my end result as doing research directly on patients (ex - investigating brain 'pacemakers' for neuropsychological purposes) as well as becoming a professor. He stated that with an MD/MPH I could be done with my path within 5 years, come out doing research and immediately as associate faculty. My research so far makes me think the MPH is more for people interested in helping the public - ie people without money. Noble as it is, this is not what I want to do. I can't even tell if the path he suggested would lead to what I want. I don't really see myself doing only a PhD. Any thoughts are GREATLY appreciated. thanks!
This makes me worried.

Just do an MD and get involved in clinical research during med school.
 

schrizto

10+ Year Member
May 14, 2008
2,690
3
puh puh pitt
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah, from the type of research you describe it sounds more like clinical research, and in MD/PhD the PhD is usually in a basic science. MD only should be good enough.
 

jammy22

10+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2008
59
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Also, there are a few med schools that offer a clinical research training option. I know Pitt has a 5 year program. Although, I don't know much about it or if there are other programs out there.
 

sanktank7

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
90
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Attending Physician
I think your idea of MPH vs PhD is pretty whack :eek:. First off, public health is not a term used to describe the level of compensation you get from your work. Rather it is a term that describes the application of your work. You said something about "brain pacemakers" so lets use that example:

If you were interested in investigating specific mechanisms/disorders within the scope of neuropsychology and developing a brain pacemaker to meet some clinical objective then you could do this with an MD/PhD - really with an MD alone if your focus is more clinical and less basic science.

If you wanted to investigate the prevalence of neuropsychological disorders in a particular population or determine risk factors/genetic determinants etc. for those disorders on a population or community level - this would be more in line with public health.


From what you said, it seems like you could meet your objective with an MD alone - you dont get compensation like you would for an MD/PhD but you save 3-5yrs which is more than worth it if you are not wholeheartedly commited to basic science.
 

bd4727

10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
361
26
USA
Status
Attending Physician
I think your idea of MPH vs PhD is pretty whack :eek:. First off, public health is not a term used to describe the level of compensation you get from your work. Rather it is a term that describes the application of your work. You said something about "brain pacemakers" so lets use that example:

If you were interested in investigating specific mechanisms/disorders within the scope of neuropsychology and developing a brain pacemaker to meet some clinical objective then you could do this with an MD/PhD - really with an MD alone if your focus is more clinical and less basic science.

If you wanted to investigate the prevalence of neuropsychological disorders in a particular population or determine risk factors/genetic determinants etc. for those disorders on a population or community level - this would be more in line with public health.


From what you said, it seems like you could meet your objective with an MD alone - you dont get compensation like you would for an MD/PhD but you save 3-5yrs which is more than worth it if you are not wholeheartedly commited to basic science.
Yes this is good advice.

It doesn't seem like you (the OP) have a good understanding of what MPH is. It's okay, I didn't either until recently. Read about it on wikipedia or something. But the things you suggest you want to do are not public health type things.

Also FWIW, MD/PhD and MD/MPH are 2 very different career paths. I think you probably need to learn a lot more about them to get a better sense of what they really entail, based on your original question.
 

dreamsofspring

on a roll
10+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2008
8
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Status
The OP might want to look into MPH programs that focus on clinical epidemiology. I just did a regular MPH, but I took some courses with the clin epi students and they seemed to mostly be clinicians who wanted to do research involving their patients. We had to "peer review" each others' grant proposals, and one of the ones I read was about stented versus stentless aortic valve replacement, which seems along the lines you're looking for.

I'm starting an MD/PhD this fall because in the end I didn't feel like I had enough research training for the kind of work I want to do, but if you're looking for the basics with not a lot of time commitment, a clinical epidemiology program might be the way to go.