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Total Time of MD/PhD Program

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by scooter, Nov 17, 1999.

  1. scooter

    scooter New Member

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    Does anyone know how long it normally takes to completely finish an MD/PhD program? I know the actual "schooling" part takes approximately 6-8 years, but how long after that does it take to complete Post-Docs and/or Residencies? I am 20 now, and the reason I am asking this is because I don't want to be 40 by the time I completely finish everything. Thanks in Advance!!!
     
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  3. anadeem

    anadeem New Member

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    Hello scooter,

    It takes about 7 years total. A couple of years back, you would do 2 years of medical school and then 3 years of dissertation research and then the final 2 years of medical school. I think that now you may be able to complete the research while doing clinical rotations (i'm not sure though).
    I do feel that only if interested in research should you complete a Ph.D. I have a friend who took more than 3 years to finish his dissertation (about 4.5). The time really depends on your advisor so be careful who you choose to work with. Good luck....
     
  4. scooter

    scooter New Member

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    anadeem,

    What I was referring to was what is the minimum time AFTER the MD/PhD program is complete would I actually be eligible for a job? I know that the program takes 7 years to complete (i.e. to get the MD/PhD degrees), but there are residencies and Post-Bacs after that which I heard can take another 8-10 years. Any input? Thanks!
     
  5. Tigger Tiger

    Tigger Tiger Member
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    Depends on what residency you want to do. Anywhere from two years to six.

    Post-Baccs? I think you mean "POST-DOCS", dr. [​IMG]

    Post-docs don't have a time frame... it's research, yeah baby! Unless you mean fellowships, and I think they are about a year, but don't quote me on it.


    [This message has been edited by Tigger Tiger (edited 11-18-1999).]
     
  6. anadeem

    anadeem New Member

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    Hello scooter,

    Depends on what residency you want to do. Family medicine is about 3 years, Emergency Med. about 4 years, Surgery 5 years, Internal Med. about 4 years. The periods i gave includes the internship year. If you want to subspecialize, it may take longer.
    Also, Post-Baccs are not post Docs. Post-Baccs are programs that are used by students to get into medical school. Post doctoral fellowships may last from 1 through 3 years, in many cases even longer. It's usually used if doctoral candidates are interested in a career in academics. These fellowships are different from fellowships used by post-doctoral MEDICAL students to subspecialize. Hope that helps......
     
  7. scooter

    scooter New Member

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    Oops...I accidentally said "post-baccs" when I meant to say "post-docs."

    Let me explain my circumstances: I am 20 right now and have a few years of undergrad left. I would be approx 29 if I got the MD/PhD degrees. I plan to go into disease research, possibly seeing patients and also working in a research lab. Are there residencies offered for this kind of work (if so, how long?) and would I also need to complete a post-doctoral program in research before being hired by someone (I would ultimately like to work at a disease control center)? Sorry if I have not been very clear. Thanks in advance!
     
  8. tr

    tr inert protoplasm
    Physician PhD Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    scooter: The length of time spent between receiving a degree and finding an academic position varies considerably. If you were to do a full residency and a postdoc, it might take anywhere from 5-12 years. However, MD-PhD's have a number of options that are not available to holders of single degrees. First of all, there is something called the 'research residency,' which allows you to combine research and clinical work and is not as long as doing both a full residency and a full postdoc (as an MD-only would be required to do if interested in research). Next, you should note that horror stories about 10-year postdocs generally come from PhD's. MD-PhD's have more options and generally won't stay in dead-end positions, and they are also more highly regarded in general and are more likely to be quickly offered academic positions, ending the postdoc period. Overall, the MD-PhD is a timesaver because even though the doctoral degree takes longer to earn, the time spent in postdoctoral training is considerably less. However, there are no hard-and-fast rules to this. There is no guarantee that you will earn your degrees in 7 years (many take 8, 9, or even 10). And advancement in research, as in any field, depends on your personal abilities. If you are good, you will go up. If you are incompetent, you are unlikely to be granted an academic position regardless of how many letters you have after your name. Best of luck!
     

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