ToTheLighthouse

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Hi Guys,

I'm currently a philosophy student at my undergrad institution.
I really enjoy this major and don't want to give it up.
I'm considering taking pre-med classes so that I can later go into psychiatry.

My question is this:

Are there any medical schools that you think may suit someone with a philosophy background
(ie. ones which lean towards theory,
or a wider,
more contemplative perspective than just straight up science and research)?

thank you for all replies.
 

naijaboi

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Ah, no.

Medical school is about learning the human body, its intricacies and how to treat it. You can go to a school that allows you to take philosophy courses as electives (and search for faculty members who have integrated philosophy and medicine in their practice).
 

TexasPhysician

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No. Medical school is all about gaining a general understanding of medicine (PCP in nature). However, you can choose to specialize in psychiatry from any medical school.
 

mmmcdowe

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Hi Guys,

I'm currently a philosophy student at my undergrad institution.
I really enjoy this major and don't want to give it up.
I'm considering taking pre-med classes so that I can later go into psychiatry.

My question is this:

Are there any medical schools that you think may suit someone with a philosophy background
(ie. ones which lean towards theory,
or a wider,
more contemplative perspective than just straight up science and research)?

thank you for all replies.
I would look into schools strong in bioethics or public health. There are certainly some schools that appear to prefer nonscience majors more than others as well (Yale and Columbia tend to be 50% nonscience)
 

Perrotfish

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Short answer no

While I'm sure that just about every medical school will claim to take a wider, more contemplative view somewhere on their website, the truth is that the first two years of almost any medical school are based almost entirely on multiple choice scantron exams. You memorize factoids and then you regurgitate them. You will then have a series of nationally standardized liscencing exams tests your knowledge of those same factoids with even longer scantron exams. Research is optional and you generally don't have time to do anything meaningful ayway. I know there are probably a few superhumans out who cure all sorts of sh!t in their spare time but most premeds who do research are just trying to rush something very simple to publicaation so that they can improve their application for residency. There is almost no discussion in school and very few students attend class at all.

The second two years, and residency, are in the hospital. All day, a good chunk of the night, and during third year you rotate in every specialty. You're learning a trade, no philosophy required. During third and fourth year at the end of every block (4-8 weeks in the hospital) you take yet another scantron test. You also have to take another couple of giant standerdized scantrons.

Based on your goals I would suggest you look into a PhD in Psychology, a bioethics PhD, and MPH, a public health degree, or a public policy degree. BTW I would shadow a psychiatrist before you start taking classes. Psychiatrists mainly work on controlling raving lunacy with potent medications, which requires a better understanding of serotonin uptake than philosophy. If you're thinking of a warmly lit room with a couch.... well psychiatrists do that too but psychologists do it just as well and with infinitely less agony and debt to get there.
 
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AH3

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Have you thought about being a Bioethicist? I took a Bioethics course a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The professor works at my university and at the major hospital near it. I would guess you would have to go to graduate school in Philosophy to do that. I'm pretty sure a lot of hospitals have ethics committees too.
 

ToTheLighthouse

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Short answer no

While I'm sure that just about every medical school will claim to take a wider, more contemplative view somewhere on their website, the truth is that the first two years of almost any medical school are based almost entirely on multiple choice scantron exams. You memorize factoids and then you regurgitate them. You will then have a series of nationally standardized liscencing exams tests your knowledge of those same factoids with even longer scantron exams. Research is optional and you generally don't have time to do anything meaningful ayway. I know there are probably a few superhumans out who cure all sorts of sh!t in their spare time but most premeds who do research are just trying to rush something very simple to publicaation so that they can improve their application for residency. There is almost no discussion in school and very few students attend class at all.

The second two years, and residency, are in the hospital. All day, a good chunk of the night, and during third year you rotate in every specialty. You're learning a trade, no philosophy required. During third and fourth year at the end of every block (4-8 weeks in the hospital) you take yet another scantron test. You also have to take another couple of giant standerdized scantrons.

Based on your goals I would suggest you look into a PhD in Psychology, a bioethics PhD, and MPH, a public health degree, or a public policy degree. BTW I would shadow a psychiatrist before you start taking classes. Psychiatrists mainly work on controlling raving lunacy with potent medications, which requires a better understanding of serotonin uptake than philosophy. If you're thinking of a warmly lit room with a couch.... well psychiatrists do that too but psychologists do it just as well and with infinitely less agony and debt to get there.
Ah. This sounds frightening.

I want to be a therapist.
And I want to be among the top in my field.
Maybe I haven't seen enough, but from what I HAVE seen
it looks like psychiatrists "rule the roost" so to speak.

I'm still considering a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Because there are many programs in that field that are theoretically/philosophically oriented.
And I know I'd really enjoy that.

However, I'd also like some professional mobility.
Maybe I'd like to start up a practice overseas some day.

And I'm unsure about how a PhD in Clinical Psych. translates,
whereas I'm nearly certain that the title of MD retains it's value anywhere in the world.

Perhaps this is the wrong forum for this new introduction to the conversation.
Even so, I'd really appreciate any input anyone is able to offer.

Thanks
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Philosophy in itself is a major which builds up critical thinking and analyzes as well as seeing the world in multiple ways and understanding theoretical and hypothetical reality and concepts.
I think you'd in itself is that the major builds you up to be a more capable individual and more interesting. Medicine is a career where you work with people of different backgrounds and cultures. More or less you'll be a doctor that can actually speak with your patients about interesting things. But overall you wont be able to have your philosophy degree help you.
More or less a philosophy degree is a pre-professional degree. However if you want to go into psychology it'd be recommended major in psychology as well and have tons of research in psychology as well.
 

rockaction

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while it's all about science and research, you can take tons of these mini-elective seminar classes, which include Mind-Body Medicine, Philosophy of Medicine, Evolutionary Medicine, Art and Medicine, and the Healer's Art. they look pretty cool. you can also do an Area of Concentration in Medical Humanities and Neuroscience, among other things. they seem to have a very broad educational scheme that is very customizable.

most places now have it so you can get a Master's in Bioethics. I know Pitt and Case Western both have that option.
 

schrizto

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while it's all about science and research, you can take tons of these mini-elective seminar classes, which include Mind-Body Medicine, Philosophy of Medicine, Evolutionary Medicine, Art and Medicine, and the Healer's Art. they look pretty cool. you can also do an Area of Concentration in Medical Humanities and Neuroscience, among other things. they seem to have a very broad educational scheme that is very customizable.

most places now have it so you can get a Master's in Bioethics. I know Pitt and Case Western both have that option.
Ah, Pitt and philosophy. Pitt has one of the top philosophy departments in the country. I don't know much about any philosophy-related options within the medical school's curriculum, but I know they have a lot of resources in philosophy and the sciences, and a combination of the two.

More or less a philosophy degree is a pre-professional degree.
This is a typo, right?
 

boaz

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Hi Guys,

I'm currently a philosophy student at my undergrad institution.
I really enjoy this major and don't want to give it up.
I'm considering taking pre-med classes so that I can later go into psychiatry.

My question is this:

Are there any medical schools that you think may suit someone with a philosophy background
(ie. ones which lean towards theory,
or a wider,
more contemplative perspective than just straight up science and research)?

thank you for all replies.
Don't philosophize med schools. :smuggrin:

All med schools are friendly to philosophy majors. You don't need to worry about this at all.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Ah, Pitt and philosophy. Pitt has one of the top philosophy departments in the country. I don't know much about any philosophy-related options within the medical school's curriculum, but I know they have a lot of resources in philosophy and the sciences, and a combination of the two.



This is a typo, right?
At my school most of the philosophy students pursue either medical school or law school. Very few actually go to pursue ethic's masters. Maybe that's just a occurrence at my school and a generalization of that would be fallacious. So yah.. :D
 

LizzyM

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Many schools, including some of the top research schools, are going to be open to accepting philosophy majors (some may even be enthusiastic). While much of the first 2 years is basic science in nature, some schools will have required, or elective, courses in medical ethics and similar subjects that touch on philosophy.

Another thread on the first page at the moment discusses the worthlessness of match lists but in your case, the proportion of the senior class going on to psychiatry residencies might be a good measure of how well students at the school are prepared and nurtured for careers in psychiatry. Some schools are well known for graduating future psychiatrists and others not so much.
 

Suenya

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Philosophy/psych major here. Was originally planning PhD in clinical psych, so I sort of have a feel what you are going through.

Anyway, there are alot of schools that have some more philosophical courses or focus, although the majority (not all though) tend to focus on medical ethics/bioethics. If you are interested in ethics, there are quite a few schools with good MDMA programs or programs where you can focus more on ethics. General philosophy, less so, although there are schools that let you do alot of what you are interested in as well. I found the Cleveland Clinic program to be the nicest looking of the MDMA personally, but there are quite a few good ones. Albany Medical also has one, but I like there non-degree ethics track even more. There are many schools out there and if you want to send me a PM if you are interested in them, I'd be happy to go over my experience with you.

There are also some schools that do MD/PhD in philosophy. Although not advertised, Harvard Medical School does this, if rarely and very competitively.

My best friend is still going into PhD clinical psych, but most people I've talked to tell me that if you are interested in straight clinical work MD tends to be a bit of a better route. There are definitely pluses and minuses either way though. It's not a light decision between them, so you should take time to try to find out which works out better for you. Psychiatrists have a bit more job security and, although they are one of the lowest paid medical specialties, they still generally outearn psychologists, both of which might be relevant to you aside from the actual day to day practical differences. If you want to do therapy mainly, there are many other options as well, including PsyD, doing an accelerated BSN to Nurse practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist in psychiatry, psychiatry social work, and the other clinically oriented fields of psychology like school psychology or counseling psych. There are big pluses and minuses in all these fields. I especially think many people overlook the CS NP route for psych, which is a very strong one well worth considering.

As for more of a holistic feel, medical schools integrate things differently, at least in how they present stuff to applicants. I think PennState had a nice feel for that in general. They have a humanities department focused on writing, and other humanities as a part of becoming a doctor. There appears to be a pretty big difference between schools in that regard, although it wasn't a particularly important part to me.

I hope any of this was relevant or useful, and feel free to PM me or we can chat here if you want to discuss anything more!
 
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Almost all med schools. There are one or two exceptions
As a Philosophy major, I am curious what these exceptions are. Also, in the words of LizzieM, what schools are 'enthusiastic' about Philosophy majors? Thanks.
 

mmmcdowe

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As a Philosophy major, I am curious what these exceptions are. Also, in the words of LizzieM, what schools are 'enthusiastic' about Philosophy majors? Thanks.
Pull out a MSAR, there are definitely a couple who appear to want (or attract) only science majors.
 

Excelsius

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Another thread on the first page at the moment discusses the worthlessness of match lists but in your case, the proportion of the senior class going on to psychiatry residencies might be a good measure of how well students at the school are prepared and nurtured for careers in psychiatry. Some schools are well known for graduating future psychiatrists and others not so much.
This is exactly why I disagree that matchlists are useless. I don't think it matters much what specialty we're really looking at. When you look at several years of match data from a particular school and see frequent matches into a particular field, you know that the school at least has the resources to get you there - the right department, the right mentors, the right information. On the other hand, a school that doesn't have this consistency might or might not be good for that particular specialty. Other questions arise, such as whether most students are not properly mentored in that given specialty and instead are more tutored in other specialties thus passively discouraging the student body from selecting the given specialty. That's not really self-selection, but guided self-selection.

To the OP: you don't need a medical school that teaches you philosophy. As you can tell, medical schools are not set up for that. All you need to do is read the books on your own - you'll have access to better quality books, be able to learn at your own pace (whether faster or slower), and understand the subject much better because you are not being spoon-fed the biased and truncated interpretation of your professors, whether inadvertent or not. My own major was always in the hardcore sciences, but I am well on my way to completing most of the major works by the some of the best philosophers. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason by Guyer & Wood has been just as impossible to hammer through as some of the physics books. At the college level they take very diluted versions and excerpts of abstruse original works and cram them into a course. Can you imagine what they'd do to you in medical school if they tried to teach any philosophy?:laugh:
 

plsfoldthx

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philosophy is utterly useless. why would they teach it in med school.
 

dweji16

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philosophy is utterly useless. why would they teach it in med school.
Whoa.. now wait a minute.

Philosophy isn't just the study of the human soul and why things are the way they are, as some like to think.

A huge huge chunk of philosophy is the study of moral responsibility and ethics... two topics that anyone in healthcare should have a good feel for; after all, what profession has more moral responsibility tied to it than one that deals with human lives. If anything, taking a few philosophy classes on morality will be good for you as you train to be a doctor. you'll learn to always think critically and carefully.

So don't be hating on philosophy... I feel that it is more useful than anything I've learned, and I am glad that I majored in it (at the cost of my GPA and hours of tearing my hair out trying to understand Hume).
 

plsfoldthx

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because doctor's have to abide by a set of rules that are predetermined anyways. The doctor does not use his/her philsophical judgments on whether or not to carry out a procedure... the law already tells him what he can or cannot do.

Will the physician ever use something like the doctrine of double effect in practice? What about those that are opposed to it? In the end, it's up to debate and the only thing that really matters is if it is or not lawful.
 
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Philosophy/psych major here. Was originally planning PhD in clinical psych, so I sort of have a feel what you are going through.

Anyway, there are alot of schools that have some more philosophical courses or focus, although the majority (not all though) tend to focus on medical ethics/bioethics. If you are interested in ethics, there are quite a few schools with good MDMA programs or programs where you can focus more on ethics. General philosophy, less so, although there are schools that let you do alot of what you are interested in as well. I found the Cleveland Clinic program to be the nicest looking of the MDMA personally, but there are quite a few good ones. Albany Medical also has one, but I like there non-degree ethics track even more. There are many schools out there and if you want to send me a PM if you are interested in them, I'd be happy to go over my experience with you.

There are also some schools that do MD/PhD in philosophy. Although not advertised, Harvard Medical School does this, if rarely and very competitively.

My best friend is still going into PhD clinical psych, but most people I've talked to tell me that if you are interested in straight clinical work MD tends to be a bit of a better route. There are definitely pluses and minuses either way though. It's not a light decision between them, so you should take time to try to find out which works out better for you. Psychiatrists have a bit more job security and, although they are one of the lowest paid medical specialties, they still generally outearn psychologists, both of which might be relevant to you aside from the actual day to day practical differences. If you want to do therapy mainly, there are many other options as well, including PsyD, doing an accelerated BSN to Nurse practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist in psychiatry, psychiatry social work, and the other clinically oriented fields of psychology like school psychology or counseling psych. There are big pluses and minuses in all these fields. I especially think many people overlook the CS NP route for psych, which is a very strong one well worth considering.

As for more of a holistic feel, medical schools integrate things differently, at least in how they present stuff to applicants. I think PennState had a nice feel for that in general. They have a humanities department focused on writing, and other humanities as a part of becoming a doctor. There appears to be a pretty big difference between schools in that regard, although it wasn't a particularly important part to me.

I hope any of this was relevant or useful, and feel free to PM me or we can chat here if you want to discuss anything more!
sigh i don't know i don't know i don't know.

I'm a psych major in undergrad going into pediatrics (if I get into med school) and I just see big philosophical differences between what Psychiatrists believe about the brain/mind and what PhD Psychologists believe.

And I'm someone who 'believes' in the use of both medication and talking therapy to cure the mind. But as someone who studies both psychology and philosophy of the mind.... if I were choosing between Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry (which I'm not), I would have to take a long hard look at the general philosophies that each field embodies, and see which one my opinions on the mind better match.
So to the OP, that's what I would do if I were you.

I mean idk i might get flamed for this, I might get ZOMG u don't know what you are talking about but Psychology and Psychiatry seem to have different takes on the Brain/Mind Problem and the hard problem of consciousness... and that really needs to be considered before entering either field.

So beyond considering what you want to DO in your job (practice overseas, perscribe meds, what patient population you want) you have to decide which field will have more colleagues that you agree with.


For example if you are down with Freud.... there are some PhD programs that are down with him too.... but probably 0 psychiatry residencies that are... so please consider that. I don't want to start a flame war about the merit's of Freudian thought , but if you want to explore him more, PhD is probably the way to go.
 

mmmcdowe

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sigh i don't know i don't know i don't know.

I'm a psych major in undergrad going into pediatrics (if I get into med school) and I just see big philosophical differences between what Psychiatrists believe about the brain/mind and what PhD Psychologists believe.

And I'm someone who 'believes' in the use of both medication and talking therapy to cure the mind. But as someone who studies both psychology and philosophy of the mind.... if I were choosing between Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry (which I'm not), I would have to take a long hard look at the general philosophies that each field embodies, and see which one my opinions on the mind better match.
So to the OP, that's what I would do if I were you.

I mean idk i might get flamed for this, I might get ZOMG u don't know what you are talking about but Psychology and Psychiatry seem to have different takes on the Brain/Mind Problem and the hard problem of consciousness... and that really needs to be considered before entering either field.

So beyond considering what you want to DO in your job (practice overseas, perscribe meds, what patient population you want) you have to decide which field will have more colleagues that you agree with.


For example if you are down with Freud.... there are some PhD programs that are down with him too.... but probably 0 psychiatry residencies that are...
so please consider that. I don't want to start a flame war about the merit's of Freudian thought , but if you want to explore him more, PhD is probably the way to go.
You'd be surprised, my psych course has multiple classes on his theories. They use some of his stuff, but most of it they use as a platform to discuss other regions of psychotherapy.
 

Ischemic

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philosophy is utterly useless. why would they teach it in med school.
I agree with this dude to some extent. No one can "teach" you what's right and wrong, you either agree with it or not. Everyone has their own moral compass and will try to find a balance between what they think is right, what the law says is right and what the guidelines in their own particular hospital says.

At the end of the day when you have tons of other stuff to study the last thing you want to do is argue or write a paper on what some dead dudes think about sex and human emotions. If you want to do that go be a social worker where you'll have time to ponder about the meaning of life and leave the saving of lives to others.
 

Law2Doc

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because doctor's have to abide by a set of rules that are predetermined anyways. The doctor does not use his/her philsophical judgments on whether or not to carry out a procedure... the law already tells him what he can or cannot do. ..l.
The law doesn't cover every situation, and there are many many ethical gray areas, as well as areas where privacy laws and the like are pretty vague.

But I wouldn't bother trying to pick a "more philosophy-friendly" med school. Med school curricula is pretty standardized. You take X, Y and Z courses in the first two year because the AAMC requires them and because they are on Step 1. Most programs will have a lecture or two on ethical issues, maybe a short course or elective if you are lucky -- hardly enough to justify picking one school over another. Then third year all programs have the core rotations, which include psychiatry. And 4th year you jobsearch for a residency, do sub-internship rotations, do electives, and take Step 2. It's not like you can get around the basic AAMC requirements and find a place that does more philosophy and ethics. 95% of the first three years of med school are going to be pretty standardized and the same at all schools, and so you are focusing in on that small 5% leftover. If you pick a school because of this that's foolish -- you inevitably will blink and miss it anyhow. As mentioned above future psychiatrists graduate from every med school. If that is your interest go for it.

Now I did see folks mention going into graduate school (instead of med school) for bioethics or psychology, and you have to give this a long hard look, because honestly the focus of this training might be far closer to what you are suggesting. You will learn the ins and outs of human anatomy, physiology, pathology in med school. You will learn to apply it to sick in-patients in the hospital. You will be required to spend the bulk of your 3rd year rotations (11 out of 12 months) on non-psych related rotations, including surgery, internal medicine, OBGYN. So basically, if you want more intense focus on the things you are interested in, med school won't give you that immediate gratification. And if you do choose med school I would be prepared to close this area of interest from your mind and open it up to other areas, because med school is mostly about those other areas. Doesn't matter what med school, they all are mostly about other things.

Your question is identical to saying "I'm interested in engineering and want to be a patent lawyer, which law school should I choose that will have the most engineering emphasis". The answer -- none will. You might find one with a patent course elective at some and not others, but it will be 3 years of basics of law for the most part. You will not learn engineering in law school. Nor will you learn much philosophy in med school. There are graduate tracks in engineering and in philosophy, but not through the professional schools. Hope that clarifies your thought processes. Good luck.
 

schrizto

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because doctor's have to abide by a set of rules that are predetermined anyways. The doctor does not use his/her philsophical judgments on whether or not to carry out a procedure... the law already tells him what he can or cannot do.

Will the physician ever use something like the doctrine of double effect in practice? What about those that are opposed to it? In the end, it's up to debate and the only thing that really matters is if it is or not lawful.
Do you realize how much ethics comes into play in medicine? Laws are not set in stone, they are a representation of a society's current ethical attitudes and moral standards.
 

Suenya

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sigh i don't know i don't know i don't know.

I'm a psych major in undergrad going into pediatrics (if I get into med school) and I just see big philosophical differences between what Psychiatrists believe about the brain/mind and what PhD Psychologists believe.

And I'm someone who 'believes' in the use of both medication and talking therapy to cure the mind. But as someone who studies both psychology and philosophy of the mind.... if I were choosing between Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry (which I'm not), I would have to take a long hard look at the general philosophies that each field embodies, and see which one my opinions on the mind better match.
So to the OP, that's what I would do if I were you.

I mean idk i might get flamed for this, I might get ZOMG u don't know what you are talking about but Psychology and Psychiatry seem to have different takes on the Brain/Mind Problem and the hard problem of consciousness... and that really needs to be considered before entering either field.

So beyond considering what you want to DO in your job (practice overseas, perscribe meds, what patient population you want) you have to decide which field will have more colleagues that you agree with.


For example if you are down with Freud.... there are some PhD programs that are down with him too.... but probably 0 psychiatry residencies that are... so please consider that. I don't want to start a flame war about the merit's of Freudian thought , but if you want to explore him more, PhD is probably the way to go.
Clinical training varies more between PhD clinical programs than between Psych residency programs, I think. Some are very behavioral, some are more CBT focused, and some more analytic. Most teach a combination, but are weighted towards one style. If by Freud, you mean psychoanalytic theory in general, there are definitely many residencies that have a big component. At the MGH/McLean program, there are case presentations and speakers from an analytic point of view. And the attendings that supervise therapy come from a variety of different viewpoints. Far from everything is psychopharmacology.

I actually think that there are some more hardcore identity/functionalist views in many PhD programs. Which for me, was a plus. There are definitely differences in program philosophy between different residencies and between different PhD programs. These differences are probably bigger than the differences between the groups (at least in terms of theory, since there's no medical or real psychopharm in most clinical phd programs).
 

Suenya

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The law doesn't cover every situation, and there are many many ethical gray areas, as well as areas where privacy laws and the like are pretty vague.

But I wouldn't bother trying to pick a "more philosophy-friendly" med school. Med school curricula is pretty standardized. You take X, Y and Z courses in the first two year because the AAMC requires them and because they are on Step 1. Most programs will have a lecture or two on ethical issues, maybe a short course or elective if you are lucky -- hardly enough to justify picking one school over another. Then third year all programs have the core rotations, which include psychiatry. And 4th year you jobsearch for a residency, do sub-internship rotations, do electives, and take Step 2. It's not like you can get around the basic AAMC requirements and find a place that does more philosophy and ethics. 95% of the first three years of med school are going to be pretty standardized and the same at all schools, and so you are focusing in on that small 5% leftover. If you pick a school because of this that's foolish -- you inevitably will blink and miss it anyhow. As mentioned above future psychiatrists graduate from every med school. If that is your interest go for it.

Now I did see folks mention going into graduate school (instead of med school) for bioethics or psychology, and you have to give this a long hard look, because honestly the focus of this training might be far closer to what you are suggesting. You will learn the ins and outs of human anatomy, physiology, pathology in med school. You will learn to apply it to sick in-patients in the hospital. You will be required to spend the bulk of your 3rd year rotations (11 out of 12 months) on non-psych related rotations, including surgery, internal medicine, OBGYN. So basically, if you want more intense focus on the things you are interested in, med school won't give you that immediate gratification. And if you do choose med school I would be prepared to close this area of interest from your mind and open it up to other areas, because med school is mostly about those other areas. Doesn't matter what med school, they all are mostly about other things.

Your question is identical to saying "I'm interested in engineering and want to be a patent lawyer, which law school should I choose that will have the most engineering emphasis". The answer -- none will. You might find one with a patent course elective at some and not others, but it will be 3 years of basics of law for the most part. You will not learn engineering in law school. Nor will you learn much philosophy in med school. There are graduate tracks in engineering and in philosophy, but not through the professional schools. Hope that clarifies your thought processes. Good luck.
While in general that may be true, there are medical schools with special programs or combined degrees that are not available at other schools. For someone with interests in those areas, that difference can be pretty big.
 

Suenya

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philosophy is utterly useless. why would they teach it in med school.
Let me be the mature, thoughtful one in this conversation:

You're utterly useless.:D
 

Law2Doc

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While in general that may be true, there are medical schools with special programs or combined degrees that are not available at other schools. For someone with interests in those areas, that difference can be pretty big.
I'm saying med school is med school. A combined degree can bring other areas of study in, but the med school portion is still going to be largely the same, because the AAMC dictates what must be covered and that speaks for the majority of the time in med school. I cannot see any real point in a combined degree to become a psychiatrist. You don't do graduate programs because you have "interests in those areas". That's a good reason why you might take a college course, but not a reason to get a graduate degree or combined degree. You only do it presumably because it opens doors to career areas. As mentioned, if your goal is to be an ethicist, there are shorter, more targeted paths that don't even involve med school. If your goal is to be a psychiatrist to work as a therapist (as OP has suggested), getting a degree in ethics or philosophy really won't enhance your career. Might be interesting, but it's a pretty expensive degree that delays your practice without enhancing it and without adding much value to your resume since you won't be using it.

And picking a med school because "this one has two weeks more of ethics than that one" seems a bit silly to me. You are going to be spending your first two years learning anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology... your third year doing core rotations in IM, surg, psych, OB, peds, your fourth year taking a few electives, doing a few sub-internships, but with a focus on applying and interviewing for residency, and taking step 2. And that is med school. Not much philosophy, not much ethics. If that's what you are hoping to find in any great quantities in med school, you probably have a different form of schooling in mind.
 

LizzyM

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I think that if one is interested in practicing psychiatry and doing some academic medicine in the area of ethics, either bioethics or the ethics of medical professionalism or social policy, as it relates to psychiatry then an MD/MA program might provide the necessary training, credentials, credabilty and contacts to make that work.