Its only an extra 4 years, plus you need a postdoc for the MD only route which reduces it to 2 years extra instead of 4 years... so in the end you get both degrees for an extra 2 years vs the MD+postdoc route.Originally posted by nuclearrabbit77
i am going through the same process of deciding whether the ph.d is necessary. the fact that i took a couple years out of school before applying, (24 years old/M1), doing an mstp (7-8 years, at northwestern avg is 8), and residency (3-7)..i'd be an old croney by the time i finished. the biggest deterrent for me was simply based off the length and the fact that i don't want to be 40 when i'm done "training".
If you are interested in surgical research, you dont need a PhD and you dont need a postdoc.the other factor that was in consideration was that i have interest in several different surgical subspecialties. i think in these fields, there is even less return for the ph.d component.
If you are talking about during the school year then its possible for an MD to be doing more than an MD/PhD student, because most MD/PhD students dont do research during the school year. But theres no way you are going to outgain them in research experience while spending only 4 years at the school, even if you spend every semester working in a lab.i am still involved in research, and in fact, i am doing more than the mstp's in my class right now.
Yes, you can do research, but I seriously doubt you will be running your own lab without getting a postdoc. At any rate, you didnt even need those 2 years of research experience to simply do research. Many MD grads have NO previous research experience before med school but yet become researchers after they graduate.i'm working part time in a lab while going to school, i did a fellowship the summer before school started, and i have 2 years of research (with publications and abstracts) before i started medical school. although my experience and training won't be as significant as somebody who has gone through the ph.d, i hope that the lab experiences that i am getting now, (and ones that i will pursue later), will be sufficient in giving me the capabilities and confidence to direct research.
Yes, there are plenty of opportunities for a summer or year of medical research. I just think these dont substitute or eclipse a full blown PhD degree. But i agree they are helpful.there are numerous opportunities to pursue research, even if you aren't an mstp. there are NIH summer fellowships, university sponsored fellowships, the howard hughes fellowship for medical students, howard hughes fellowship - Cloiver, and, even probably more significantly, post-resident research fellowships.
thats not necessarily true. Many MSTP programs let you do clinical rotations before picking a PhD thesis. At any rate, research interests change constantly.. its not as if after residency all of a sudden you know what your research is going to be for the rest of your life. The fact that your interests change constantly is just part of the status quo. Your research interests are just as likely to change post-residency as they are during med school, so either way theres no "temporal" advantage of a post-residency fellowship over a Ph.D.the reason why i feel that post-resident research fellowships are more significant, is because at that point of your career, you know what specialty you are, and your research interests are probably more mature than when you are younger.
you could end up doing a ph.d in a field that may be quite unrelated to the specialty or research pursuits you may have later.
good point, but if you want to do the same research activities as an MD/PhD, you will need a postdoc, which takes 2 years usually. So its not a 3-4 year advantage, its a 2 year advantage because postdocs dont get paid fat salaries like full blown doctors (its similar to a resident's salary)(i do have an opinion about how much money you are "saving").
each year that you are doing your ph.d, is time that you are "working", so if you calculate 3-4 years of an avg physicians salary, that'd be more than the cost of medical school.
It's clear that MDs can do outstanding basic science research too. I know many. However, most have had formal research training in the form of a post-doc of some sort. The point is why not just get a PhD for the work? It'll help you in the long run if you're truly interested in academics.i was talking to an md at hopkins who was trained at havrad and is doing excellent research about this. ither are countless examples of "only" md's that have done some amazing research, naming a huge list wouldn't take longer (varmus,kendel .......). but it seems like those people are just the type of people that would have gone the mstp route had it been emphasized then.