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I've heard alot about funding and programs to encourage medics to go into research... does anyone know of any which encourage researchers to learn more about medicine? One I heard of is the Harvard SCSP program, but I don't know much about it.

I'm currently in my second year of my PhD at Cambridge University. I'm studying with Micheal Ashburner and David Lomas and am working on setting up drosophila models to study human diseases associated with serine protease inhibitors (serpins), such as emphysema, dementia, thrombosis, and alzheimer's. I like it alot, but would like to migrate from Drosophila to humans after this, so I'm sure I'd really benefit from a stronger medical background.

Thanks to anyone who knows anything about this.


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There are plenty of PhDs that do disease-based research. There are many opportunities to gain a broader background in disease besides going through all of medical school. There is quite a bit learned that probably wouldn't be useful to you if you intend to do research solely (i.e. history and physical exam skills, lab tests, etc).

One option would be to take medical classes on particular diseases in which you are interested. This could include anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology, genetics, epidemiology, pharmacology, and others. You might just take what seems useful to you. One warning though: medical classes tend to be geared more towards the potential clinician and are designed to force-feed you the masses information. The effect is to somewhat stifle creativity and critical thinking, which can be frustrating for those interested in research.

Another option would be to pick up relevant textbooks and do some background reading related to topics of interest.

I'm sure there are some more formalized programs, similar to Harvard's. I don't happen to know of any, but perhaps someone else can better answer your question.

Good luck. :D


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Does anyone know about formalized (or unofficial) medical residency-like programs for non-MDs? Some of BME's professors (PhD) have done years of work with medical departments in their past. The level of patient interaction is unknown.


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A few leads for you...

I think that Baylor has a program much like Harvard's which is geared towards PhD researchers. As well, Stanford has just started offering some courses aimed at helping PhD students get a broader view of medicine and so forth.
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