Path to a dual doctorate without a combined degree program

Sep 1, 2015
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If you don't get accepted into an MSTP, how would you go about getting both an MD and Ph.D? Which degree would be completed first?
 

Lucca

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I think the most common path would be to pursue a PhD and then obtain an MD. While I have read of opportunities to pursue a PhD following residency or throughout residency I have never read anything from an individual who has actually done such a thing.

I think the more basic question is: Why do you want both degrees?

If the goal is to obtain training as a basic scientist without interrupting one's medical education with a full blown PhD then there are avenues to do that with just the MD (research year, NIH and HHMI internship, PSTPs, clinical research fellowships, etc; do some searching on this forum to learn about those). I guess it might invite more instructive advice from the more experienced members on this board if you explained why you were asking.
 

sluox

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I think the most common path would be to pursue a PhD and then obtain an MD....
While this may be true (dunno statistically), it's VASTLY easier to squeeze into a PhD program at the same school once you get into the MD program. PhD programs in basic biological sciences have substantially decreased in competitiveness and perceived attractiveness in the last 10 years that even the top programs essentially have no leverage in the admission process.

Meanwhile, applying separately to PhD programs exposes you to the scrutiny of basic scientists of your career trajectory if your CV sounds more like an MD's CV. So my advice is: apply to MSTPs, and as a backup apply to MDs.
 
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Lucca

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While this may be true (dunno statistically), it's VASTLY easier to squeeze into a PhD program at the same school once you get into the MD program. PhD programs in basic biological sciences have substantially decreased in competitiveness and perceived attractiveness in the last 10 years that even the top programs essentially have no leverage in the admission process.

Meanwhile, applying separately to PhD programs exposes you to the scrutiny of basic scientists of your career trajectory if your CV sounds more like an MD's CV. So my advice is: apply to MSTPs, and as a backup apply to MDs.
Yah I just went that way since OP asked about paths to both degrees without doing the MSTP.