Sep 14, 2017
5
2
Status
Medical Student
Hey so I am an MS2 and my school offers a bioethics MS to be done for 1 year between 2nd and 3rd years. Now my question is if it is really worth it? I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of this, but not really sure about what some cons of getting this degree are. But here are some factors as to why I am interested in the program:

1. It will give me the opportunity to do some research in bioethics... I came from a BS/MD program that focuses on research so I've already done a ton of neurosurgical bench research publishing first author and competing nationally. I mention this because I understand many students take a year off to do such research but having already done so, I want to try something different and open my doors. One of the projects I was thinking of doing for the bioethics MS is investigating physician burnout and it's effects on patient care. We see this on a daily basis and so the question becomes on whether extended hours, unnecessary physician paperwork, pimpering, etc... are ethical endeavors as it can end up putting the patient at risk and concurring additional unnecessary medical care costs. Also, I'm interested in neuro-oncology or neurosurgical oncology, so building strong bioethical foundations for a field that involves life/death treatment can really help my future decision making and understanding for my patients.

2. My second year started as hell - from roommate trying suicide, saving them, them intubated for weeks near death, to my roof collapsing, laptop smashing, and hurricane irma devastating my hometown. All this really threw off my schedule. I feel like having the extra year will let me cool down and get back to speed while also letting me shadow and getting more clinical experience in the meantime. I would take Step 1 prior so I would already have that out of the way and just last two years of rotations to look forward to.

3. My partner is a year below me. While I do understand i should not rely on making such career moves from outside factors like that, I do appreciate the benefit that it would allow me to be in the same year so we can apply to the same residency locations in the future. I fear that applying at different years risks us to separate via locations.

Now given these "pros," what are some "cons" in considering this? Some perceptions I have (which I don't know if are misguided) is that residencies may look at taking a year to get a bioethics MS as a "bs" type degree, and suggests laziness... something my mom, a physician, incurred to me. I don't know how true or false this is - she finished med school in a different country - but if so, is a big turn down for me to pursuing this. Or would it benefit for residency apps? I'm really interested in neuro (still debating surgery or not), but would getting an MS in bioethics help me there, and is it a good option given my scenario?
 
OP
S
Sep 14, 2017
5
2
Status
Medical Student
why not do a research year instead of paying for a masters
Thanks, so the Masters is offered by my school for free. I've already done a lot of bench research with my program, wrote a thesis, published 5 papers, won 1st nationally, and got a distinction in research (MD-"DR") degree that my school offers with defending against a committee. Most students in my school take a year off for getting that, however I already completed it. Also the "DR" not something universally recognized, whereas the masters is, and it gives me the opportunity to investigate a different field of medicine. So given that it's free and I can do said bioethical project, is it still worth it? Really what turns me off is residencies and attendings looking down on it since it is "bioethics," but I dont even know if that stigma is true.
 
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Dec 24, 2015
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Medical Student
Feel free to PM me, OP. I pursued the same Masters and think I know which institution you are at.
 

mvenus929

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
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Are you interested enough in bioethics to get a degree in it? If so, go for it. I would find it fascinating to interview you for residency with that background.
 
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