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Is there any way to begin your PhD while wrapping up your Med degree? (just to cut down on some of the time spent in getting a secondary education)

At school, I am most interested in gross anatomy, microbiology, and biology,
while my hobbies include athletics. A topic that I am passionate about is leadership and "organized chaos". medicine doctor biology surgeon trauma ICU chaos busy medical premed med

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Umar’s Answer


The answer to your question is, yes. There is a way to speed the process up.

1. One way is by doing a joint M.D./ Ph.D degree program. Only a few places offer this program.

2. Another way would be to do an accelerated Ph.D. This is not only rare but also hard. Typically, a Ph.D degree takes about 5-8 years to get. But depending on the topic of research and the total time and effort put in, it can be done in 4 years. I even know someone who did it in 3.5 years (super rare)

3. A third way can be during a surgical residency. Certain surgical residency programs offer the option to pursue a Ph.D which may save some more time.
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Rachel’s Answer

Absolutely, you can get an MD/PhD. This is still most likely an 8 year time commitment. Typically you complete your first two years of medical school, take 4 years off to complete a PhD, and then return for your last two clinical years.
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Richard’s Answer

Try applying for an MD/PhD program. They are usually shorter than obtaining both separately. Also many MD/PhD programs are tuition free in the USA
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James’s Answer

Yes, there are designated MD, PhD slots within many medical schools. There should be a listing in the enrollment description for the program.
Many people start a research track in this way.
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Ann’s Answer

Hi Isabelle,

What sort of PhD are you looking to earn? MD and PhD are both terminal degrees, which means they are the highest you can go in a particular field of study. In otherwords, you will typically need one or the other but not both. Some doctors do fo on for more education, but you don't have to get a PhD to become a surgeon. Hope this helps!