NOT doing a residency?

itsaliger

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    i always thought that i wanted to do some kind of combination clinical/research deal when i finished -- after all, wasn't that the point of the md/phd (or so i was convinced after all those interviews!)

    but now i'm starting to think that my goals to have a family (most likely with a general surgeon who is NOT going to have lots of time on his hands, unfortunately. and yes, i am having to admit that maybe being a woman DOES have an impact on these kinds of things. though i was in denial for quite some time . . .) and a life outside of work really conflict with a double-edged career. and i'm finding myself wondering if a straight research job in academia or industry would fit me better.

    i have already gone through clinical rotations, so i have some idea on what i would be missing out on. i liked clinical work SOMETIMES, but i'm not sure it's what i would want to do with the rest of my life. although that's so weird, because it's the part i always imagined myself doing.

    anyway, after all that -- my question: how unusual is it NOT to do a residency after the md/phd? does it put you at a huge disadvantage with respect to academic jobs, industry jobs, etc? anyone with any stories of others doing this, or any experience? i would appreciate any input.

    thank you!!
     

    beary

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      Hi itsaliger,

      I have considered many of the same issues as you being a female MSTP student. I definitely enjoy being in the lab more than being in the clinics, and I seriously considered the idea of not doing a residency. Between wanting to spend most of my time in the lab and wanting to have a family, I ended up deciding on doing a residency in pathology. The hours are reasonable and path is very compatible with a research career. Some other specialties that have reasonable hours and are research-friendly are rad onc and derm. I ended up deciding to do a residency instead of going straight into a postdoc for a few reasons: 1) I genuinely am excited about being a pathologist, 2) even though I love being in the lab, I still have fear that my research career will not be very successful and having done a residency will give me another set of skills to offer an institutition.

      Best wishes!!
       
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        beary said:
        Hi itsaliger,

        I have considered many of the same issues as you being a female MSTP student. I definitely enjoy being in the lab more than being in the clinics, and I seriously considered the idea of not doing a residency. Between wanting to spend most of my time in the lab and wanting to have a family, I ended up deciding on doing a residency in pathology. The hours are reasonable and path is very compatible with a research career. Some other specialties that have reasonable hours and are research-friendly are rad onc and derm. I ended up deciding to do a residency instead of going straight into a postdoc for a few reasons: 1) I genuinely am excited about being a pathologist, 2) even though I love being in the lab, I still have fear that my research career will not be very successful and having done a residency will give me another set of skills to offer an institutition.

        Best wishes!!
        I agree with this wholeheartedly. No need to shut doors on obvious options. Research is never guaranteed. Medicine, you're set!

        Now, that having been said...if there was absolutely no field of medicine that inspired interests and passion, then and only then would I go to straight postdoc after my MSTP training.

        Residency and further clinical training does have advantages. What you see in the clinical realm can inspire questions and research problems that MD/PhDs are in the unique position to ask. And hopefully your insights in the lab can contribute to your clinical work and ultimately helping your patients. It was this balance that I sought before I started MSTP training and I still strive for this kind of balance (when I do my 90% research/10% pathology duties). Balance in terms of work and play is important. Balance within work is also wonderful.
         
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          itsaliger said:
          thank you - that was very helpful, both of you.

          i never thought about doing a path residency but i suppose maybe it IS something to consider! fortunately i suppose i have many years to figure it out (i just started my phD this fall and haven't even picked a permanent lab yet!).

          hehe yeah...what field you want to do residency in is something you will face a long time from now but there are more important matters at hand for you now.
           

          freddytn

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            My advisor is an MD/PhD and is currently doing his residency in internal medicine even though I don't think he has any aspirations to practice afterwards and his appointment as asst. professor is at the university and not the hospital. Having the residency under your belt though I think gives you many more opportunities not only in the chance to do clinics should you decide to but depending on how clinical / translational your research is, it might be useful in that sense. Or if you're doing a residency where you hope to get a faculty position at, it will be favorable for you in terms of forming clinical collaborations and so on. These are just some of the reason in the back of my head when I am considering a full residency vs. short track vs. just a post-doc.
             
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