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MD/PhD, the "triple threat", and the future

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MacGyver, Nov 8, 2001.

  1. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked

    Aug 8, 2001
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    Is MD/PhD still described as the triple threat, where you can teach, do research, and treat patients simultaneously, or is it so tough to do all 3 now that all MD/PhD people do is research?

    Also, do you think that the future of mudphuds is particularly bright? Approx. how many MD/PhDs graduate every year compared to regular MD?

    Will opportunities for MD/PhD in academia, health care, and teaching increase, decrease, or remain the same?
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  2. none

    none 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
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    Increase. The level of education needed for any level of success in the world is constantly increasing.
  3. mdhopeful

    mdhopeful Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2001
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    i don't think the education matters as much. most mds who get a phd use the phd to gain experience in methodology, further develop interests, and further specialize. bottom line is that successful researchers need to produce and expand, the degree doesn't matter. many mds in academic teach, do research, and fulfill clinic/ward duties. what i would weigh is the personal sacrifices from a career sliced so thinly between various duties. i've worked for three docs in academia, all divorced with little time for life.
  4. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2001
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    Resident [Any Field]

    I disagree, the degree does matter. It's not just getting the degree, but the training that one gets in a PhD program. When you finish medical school you will most likely have no added research experience, and most of the training in medical school is based around memorization of facts, not critical thinking and evaluation. The combined degrees give you both of these, a gigantic knowledge base (from medicine) and the analytical and experimental tools (PhD) to apply them. Therein lies the advantage of MD/PhD.

    As for the OP's questions. I think the demand for MD/PhD's will increase. Clinical medicine is becoming more and more molecular based, and as this occurs there is a need for people who know both worlds and can help with that integration. While, it certainly is possible to teach, do research, and see patients, that is very difficult. But, the combined degree gives you plenty of options as well. I'm not sure about the numbers, but there are about 35 schools that are in the MSTP program and most accept around 10 applicants per year. Of course, not all finish with the combined degree (I understand there is a fairly high attrition rate). So I'd guess that the number (including non-MSTP schools) is somewhere around 500 per year. But, that's just a guesstimate. Anyone else know?

    Good luck,


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