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Question for med students who did Ph.D.'s first

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by TarHeel55, May 26, 2008.

  1. TarHeel55

    TarHeel55 Dreaming of Blue Turtles 7+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    This question might seem silly. So I'm filling out a survey for my white coat, and I wonder... should I ask that the name that goes on my coat include my prior degree, as in "Jane NonTrad, Ph.D.?"

    I have to confess, for all the difficult years that went into finishing that degree, I nevertheless take a tiny bit of pride in it. On the other hand, I don't want to come across to my classmates or upperclassmen as arrogant, full of myself, or flaunting my past (if folks knew the details, they would know I would actually prefer to forget most of those years). I get the sense that success in medical school comes partly through blending in with one's class and not calling attention to oneself, and I am totally, completely fine with that.

    So what did you folks do? The survey I'm filling out doesn't ask about past degrees, so I'd have to write the committee in charge specifically. Haha, perhaps I should take this as a sign.
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  3. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    I just had my name on my name tag. That didn't diminish the fact that I had earned my degree or that it was present. When I wore that short white coat, I was a medical student period. While I might have known loads about Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I didn't know "squat" about the practice of clinical medicine. Unless your Ph.D is in medicine (not likely) put your name on the coat and leave it at that.
  4. Mobius1985

    Mobius1985 7+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    I've seen attending physicians with MD, PhD embroidered on their white coats, but none of our med students with PhDs have other than their names. You wouldn't want patients you interact with to assume you have any level of expertise that is unwarranted.
  5. TarHeel55

    TarHeel55 Dreaming of Blue Turtles 7+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    Good point. You all have confirmed my instincts on this one. No PhD embroidery it is. Heaven knows that my doctoral degree in no way signifies anything approaching clinical competence. Sounds like putting it on the coat would only invite confusion and misinterpretation.
  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Agree with the others. I think it probably does give patients the wrong impression, because many don't even understand the different levels of physicians and physician trainees in the hospital (ex. student versus resident versus attending). Throwing a PhD into the mix just invites even more confusion. Plus, even though you don't mean it that way, it *will* come across as incredibly toolish to your classmates and the residents you'll be working with come third year if you make a big deal about having a PhD. Just get your name put on the coat and leave it at that. When you get your first job, then put both degrees on there. :thumbup:

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