If you’re a pre-med student, you’ve probably heard that it’s possible to earn both a PhD and an MD. But what are the main differences between these degrees? Let’s find out. Besides being more difficult, a PhD entails more original thinking. You’ll also be at the mercy of your advisor and other unpredictability. Then there’s the question of which one will be more fulfilling, a PhD or an MD?
Although a PhD is harder than an MD, it is far more rewarding to get a research career. Compared to an MD, your research and publications will help you land the jobs of your dreams, like attending medical school or running your own practice. You’ll also have a better chance of getting medical funding and participating in clinical research. You’ll have to be passionate about your subject, but you’ll love every minute of it.
Both PhD and MD students have their advantages and disadvantages. For one, PhD students spend much more time in class and quals. They’re required to think critically, while med students tend to spend more time absorbing information and studying it. Besides, PhD students have to face more difficulties than MD students: lab work, resolving complex problems, and dealing with the wrath of an evil advisor.
The second biggest difference is the training required for the PhD program. The latter requires rigorous research and a substantial amount of hands-on experience. The preparation for the examination typically takes three months. Applicants are usually paired with a professor of a prestigious university or department who’ll examine their research. If they have an interest in the same field, they can pursue a PhD program that offers them both.