Why Pursue an MD-PhD?

Just some of the reasons why people choose a career as a physician-scientist.
  • The career of a physician-scientist is unique. There are few comparable careers that allow one to experience the passion of solving a patient's medical struggles while pursuing research that may define the mechanism of that patient’s disease and may ultimately translate into a clinical cure for the disease.
  • MD-PhD trainees are research scientists who solve mechanisms underlying disease, combined with their passion to treat patients in a clinical setting.
  • MD-PhD training efficiently integrates the scientific and medical education of the physician-scientist.
  • During the PhD training years MD-PhD students take the coursework and formal training in research methodology that are important for the development of the research scientist.
  • Most MD-PhD programs provide trainees a stipend and tuition scholarships. This financial support recognizes the time that a student must spend in training for the MD-PhD career. The extent of financial support varies among programs and may only support U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Areas of Research Interest for MD-PhD Training

  • Most MD-PhD candidates earn their PhD in biomedical laboratory disciplines such as cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, pharmacology, physiology, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering.
  • Some MD-PhD Programs also allow trainees to do their graduate work in fields outside of laboratory disciplines, including computational biology, economics, epidemiology, health care policy, anthropology, sociology, or the history of medicine.
  • The spectrum of graduate degree programs offered is an important element to consider when applying to specific MD-PhD Programs.

FAQ About MD-PhD Programs and Careers

Frequently asked questions about MD-PhD Programs and Careers

MD-PhD: Is it Right For Me?

Information on career options for MD-PhDs

MD-PhD in the Social Sciences or Humanities: Is it Right for Me?

There are MD-PhD programs encompassing fields such as epidemiology, medical anthropology, health care economics, health policy, public health, bioethics, history, sociology, psychology, and others.