Medical Stuck Deciding between MD and PhD Psychology - What should I do?

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TheBoneDoctah

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Hello! I am in my second year out of undergrad, and I am stuck in trying to decide between a PhD in clinical psychology and an MD. I majored in psychology while being pre-med, with the intention of pursuing psychiatry or doctoral programs in clinical psychology. I wasn't ready for either of these during my senior year, so I decided to take a service year with AmeriCorps. I finished that, and now I am getting a master's degree in clinical psychology, because I still couldn't decide. Now that I'm in this program, I'm not sure if I want to apply to PhDs in clinical psychology- I mostly want to work with patients, providing clinical care, and I've found that most PhDs in clinical psych are research/academically focused and not practice oriented. I don't hate research, but to be honest, it's not something I really want to focus so much on. So, I am considering applying to med school again. However, I feel that it may be too late for me- I didn't get any clinical experiences during undergrad (I was focused on research, being a resident assistant, having a music scholarship) and looking for experiences now hasn't been going well. I'm getting clinical research experience for psychiatric patients through my master's degree, but idk if that counts for anything. I also only have a few days of shadowing experience, ~20 hours. I want to apply this cycle because I'm already in my second year out of undergrad, but I'm not sure how to get these experiences with everything shut down. My GPA is 3.93, and I have yet to take the MCAT.
The research you are doing will go towards research hours only (but will be good for your application). You are going to need to beef up your ECs to have a shot at medical school. You need to get hours in clinical AND non-clinical volunteering AND should get more shadowing hours as well. If you apply this year, you are literally going to be throwing money down the drain.

If you are serious about going to medical school, take the time to get your application right. You still gotta take the MCAT as well. Don't rush this.
 

MusicDOc124

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What are your reasons for and against psychology and the same for psychiatry? All I saw was not wanting to do research primarily and that you're undecided.
 

MusicDOc124

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My main reason for psychology and pscyhiatry is that I'm passionate about mental health and want to work with mental health disorders. For psychiatry, I'm also interested in medicine as a whole- I enjoy the science behind it and the practice of it, and I'm open to other specialities in medicine, too. My reasons against psychology are that I'm looking into clinical PhDs right now, and most of them are focused on preparing graduates to work in research or academic settings. I can't see myself being a researcher or a professor, and it seems like that's what most clinical psychologists do rather than, or in combination with, working with patients. My reasons against psychiatry are that, while I find medical school really interesting, I also find it really intimidating- the many years in school, the expense, the stress of getting through it, so I wonder if it's worth it and if it's something that I'm really capable of.
Sounds like you don't want to do the PhD, and the only thing keeping you from MD/DO is fear.

FYI, PhD will be just as long as med school. You'll also require an intern year and/or residency of its own sorts within psychology after the PhD is complete, at least if you want to do anything clinical with patients anyway. Difference is ability to prescribe medications and pay.
 
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