MD, PhD, or MD/PhD?

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10+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2013
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I just don't know what I want. I came into college premed, but I think I always chose medicine because of my interest in the science, not the patients. However, I do love the field and could see myself in it. I love the work I do in the lab I work in, and lab classes are always my favorites. I know this is SDN so people know most about MD, but what can you guys tell me that would sway me one way, or the other, or both?

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Start working in a research lab and shadow some physicians in different specialties. You will see they are very different.
If you're young enough, you should do the MD/PhD. The prospects for pure science postgraduates (especially life sciences postgraduates) are abysmal at best, and cataclysmic at worst. For example, I've read a lot of anecdotal stories about individuals with science PhDs being forced to take high school teaching positions. I mean, if you really hate clinical work, by all means, don't commit intellectual suicide, but if you like both scientific research and clinical work, the MD/PhD is a much better option than a PhD by itself.
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I was feeling the same way until I started research 2 yrs ago, this swayed me towards wanting a PhD. Last year, I was encouraged to revisit the MD path,and once I started shadowingv I realized how much more I wanted the MD over the PhD. I now hope to do the MD and continue research on the side. The best way to decide, is to shadow numerous hours, and try bench research.
+1 on PhDs taking high school teaching positions. Granted, the guy I know didn't publish too well and can't leave his town for family reasons.