Feb 6, 2020
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So I understand this question is likely coming VERY early considering I haven't even applied to medical school yet.

That being said, I have recently been reflecting on all of my past experiences and the one commonality is that I've enjoyed educating. Whether that be educating patients I see, my peers, or the students I tutor.

Although for various reasons I wish to pursue medicine (enjoy working in a closely knit team and elevating those around me, caring for patients/family, and many others) not teaching.

I was wondering what the path to teaching at medical school was? Must I pursue and MD/PhD? Are there particular schools with opportunities geared towards this?

Sorry if this is a silly question but I couldn't find much other than pursuing an MD-PhD.
 

Lucca

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So "teaching" at a medical school can mean a lot of things.

"Med School" c. 2020 is basically separated into 3 parts

1. Preclinical lecture curriculum
2. Small-group / practical / clinical skills curriculum
3. Clerkship curriculum

The preclinical lecture curriculum is taught by a combination of basic scientists and clinical faculty at various med schools. Some of these faculty are physician scientists -- physicians who also do scientific research and some but not all physician scientists have MD/PhDs.

Our Preclin curriculum is taught mostly by MDs or MD/PhDs but schools vary on who does the teaching.

Small-group / clinical skills curriculum is almost always MDs or other clinically trained individuals that also practice or have other roles at the academic center. They dont really teach entire courses, but might come in and teach a few sessions here and there relevant to their expertise, like an EM doc coming in to teach you bedside ultrasound or an Optho helping teach you the eye exam that day, etc.

Clerkship curriculum is taught by faculty on the wards, virtually all physicians at an academic medical center are going to be clinical faculty who will have in their job description to participate in UME (undergraduate medical education, so med students) or GME (graduate med education, resident and fellows) to some extent. They are essentially teaching you alongside doing their clinical job and you are learning that way alongside residents, fellows, as a part of a team.

MD/PhD as a path is for people who want to have very rigorous training in research in order to train for majority research careers. Many, indeed most likely most, MD/PhDs who are majority-research spend most of their time on research and mentoring people in their lab. Depending on how they split their time, they may also be involved in UME and GME but MD/PhD is decidedly NOT training in education. If you wanted to be a physician who is primarily focused on education, there are ways to do that, and most likely a PhD is not the best way to do that.

There's not really a set "path" to do this, but if you wanted to, the first step would be to graduate med school and do a residency/fellowship to develop expertise and apply for jobs at academic medical centers because they all involve education or training at one of the three parts listed above. Potentially you could look into Med-Ed specific or Clinical educator tracks at certain residency programs but these are not a "must" for being a physician teacher. Teaching is a part of almost every physicians job baseline in some way, shape, or form even if the only people you end up teaching are your teammates and patients.
 
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Feb 6, 2020
196
82
Toronto Area, Canada
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
So "teaching" at a medical school can mean a lot of things.

"Med School" c. 2020 is basically separated into 3 parts

1. Preclinical lecture curriculum
2. Small-group / practical / clinical skills curriculum
3. Clerkship curriculum

The preclinical lecture curriculum is taught by a combination of basic scientists and clinical faculty at various med schools. Some of these faculty are physician scientists -- physicians who also do scientific research and some but not all physician scientists have MD/PhDs.

Our Preclin curriculum is taught mostly by MDs or MD/PhDs but schools vary on who does the teaching.

Small-group / clinical skills curriculum is almost always MDs or other clinically trained individuals that also practice or have other roles at the academic center. They dont really teach entire courses, but might come in and teach a few sessions here and there relevant to their expertise, like an EM doc coming in to teach you bedside ultrasound or an Optho helping teach you the eye exam that day, etc.

Clerkship curriculum is taught by faculty on the wards, virtually all physicians at an academic medical center are going to be clinical faculty who will have in their job description to participate in UME (undergraduate medical education, so med students) or GME (graduate med education, resident and fellows) to some extent. They are essentially teaching you alongside doing their clinical job and you are learning that way alongside residents, fellows, as a part of a team.

MD/PhD as a path is for people who want to have very rigorous training in research in order to train for majority research careers. Many, indeed most likely most, MD/PhDs who are majority-research spend most of their time on research and mentoring people in their lab. Depending on how they split their time, they may also be involved in UME and GME but MD/PhD is decidedly NOT training in education. If you wanted to be a physician who is primarily focused on education, there are ways to do that, and most likely a PhD is not the best way to do that.

There's not really a set "path" to do this, but if you wanted to, the first step would be to graduate med school and do a residency/fellowship to develop expertise and apply for jobs at academic medical centers because they all involve education or training at one of the three parts listed above. Potentially you could look into Med-Ed specific or Clinical educator tracks at certain residency programs but these are not a "must" for being a physician teacher. Teaching is a part of almost every physicians job baseline in some way, shape, or form even if the only people you end up teaching are your teammates and patients.
Wow Lucca,

This is a great answer with a ton of useful information! Thank you very much.

I wasn't leaning towards an MD-PhD that is why I asked. I am glad to know it may not be the best path towards my goals.

I have a follow up question for you. Is there anything in particular I should be aiming for at this point if I'd wish to also teach medicine alongside clinical work?

Thanks again for the thorough response!
 
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Lucca

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Wow Lucca,

This is a great answer with a ton of useful information! Thank you very much.

I wasn't leaning towards an MD-PhD that is why I asked. I am glad to know it may not be the best path towards my goals.

I have a follow up question for you. Is there anything in particular I should be aiming for at this point if I'd wish to also teach medicine alongside clinical work?

Thanks again for the thorough response!

as cliche as it is, the best thing to focus on right now is just to get into med school and do things that will help you get into med school. By all means, if you are passionate about education then do more of that! Schools will value it.
 
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Feb 6, 2020
196
82
Toronto Area, Canada
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  1. Pre-Medical
as cliche as it is, the best thing to focus on right now is just to get into med school and do things that will help you get into med school. By all means, if you are passionate about education then do more of that! Schools will value it.
I will for sure be doing that as I continue to tutor. Thanks for all your advice!

So you wouldn't say there are certain schools more suited for this path than others?
 

gyngyn

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To teach in a medical school, you need to distinguish yourself in your chosen field of study and be willing take the cut in pay that comes with seeing fewer patients.
 
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CliveStaples

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What sort of opportunities are available to teach during medical school as a medical student?

During medical school, formal options will be limited. Recognize that simply staying on top of your responsibilities will take up a majority of your time. Studying in small group settings often satisfies the "itch" while demonstrating content mastery to explain it to others. Occasionally as a 4th year student on a particular clerkship there will be 3rd year students you could potentially be asked to give a small lecture to, but this is inconsistent and relatively informal. As a resident you will have more opportunities to cultivate teaching with medical students.
 
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Feb 6, 2020
196
82
Toronto Area, Canada
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  1. Pre-Medical
During medical school, formal options will be limited. Recognize that simply staying on top of your responsibilities will take up a majority of your time. Studying in small group settings often satisfies the "itch" while demonstrating content mastery to explain it to others. Occasionally as a 4th year student on a particular clerkship there will be 3rd year students you could potentially be asked to give a small lecture to, but this is inconsistent and relatively informal. As a resident you will have more opportunities to cultivate teaching with medical students.
The satisfaction of studying in those small groups really fits perfectly into what I mean. That itch gets scratched perfectly.
 

Lucca

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What sort of opportunities are available to teach during medical school as a medical student?

depends on the school. At mine you can get paid to TA med school classes after you've taken them. Some people also connect with professors to TA UG classes.

there's also opportunities to work and teach in the community on projects centered around community / public health education, or get involved with science/medicine pipeline programs where you can work with students.
 
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Goro

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So I understand this question is likely coming VERY early considering I haven't even applied to medical school yet.

That being said, I have recently been reflecting on all of my past experiences and the one commonality is that I've enjoyed educating. Whether that be educating patients I see, my peers, or the students I tutor.

Although for various reasons I wish to pursue medicine (enjoy working in a closely knit team and elevating those around me, caring for patients/family, and many others) not teaching.

I was wondering what the path to teaching at medical school was? Must I pursue and MD/PhD? Are there particular schools with opportunities geared towards this?

Sorry if this is a silly question but I couldn't find much other than pursuing an MD-PhD.
Depends upon whether you're pre-clinical faculty (need a PhD) or clinical (MD or DO).

Also depends upon what your skill set is, and what the school needs.
 
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Goro

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Wow Lucca,

This is a great answer with a ton of useful information! Thank you very much.

I wasn't leaning towards an MD-PhD that is why I asked. I am glad to know it may not be the best path towards my goals.

I have a follow up question for you. Is there anything in particular I should be aiming for at this point if I'd wish to also teach medicine alongside clinical work?

Thanks again for the thorough response!
Get into medical school first and then residency.

Then revisit this.
 
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Feb 6, 2020
196
82
Toronto Area, Canada
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
depends on the school. At mine you can get paid to TA med school classes after you've taken them. Some people also connect with professors to TA UG classes.

there's also opportunities to work and teach in the community on projects centered around community / public health education, or get involved with science/medicine pipeline programs where you can work with students.
Interesting, that's sounds like I'd be very interested in that school! Could you PM it to me by any chance if you want to stay anonymous.

Thanks Lucca!
 

spottedcory

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To teach in a medical school, you need to distinguish yourself in your chosen field of study and be willing take the cut in pay that comes with seeing fewer patients.
A lot of schools have scholarly tracks in medical education (that have requirements for teaching medical students) and student groups that do outreach through education. I ended up preferentially applying to schools that had this track
 
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Feb 6, 2020
196
82
Toronto Area, Canada
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  1. Pre-Medical
A lot of schools have scholarly tracks in medical education (that have requirements for teaching medical students) and student groups that do outreach through education. I ended up preferentially applying to schools that had this track
Oh my this sounds amazing. Could you PM me some of them if possible? It would be very much appreciated!
 

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