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Typically how long is medical school?

If I were to participate in medical school, how long will it take to get a Phd?

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Bhavna’s Answer

Medical school generally lasts for four years. However, the length of medical school can vary depending on the country and the program. In the United States, for example, medical school is typically a four-year program after completing an undergraduate degree. In some European countries, medical programs may last for six years or more. After completing medical school, doctors then enter into residency programs which can last for three to seven years, depending on the chosen specialty.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Dionysus
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TRAVIS’s Answer

I think 7yrs is the total usually.
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Patrick’s Answer

Typically the credential you earn after successfully graduating medical school is an MD (medical doctor ) or a DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine), both of these credentials generally allow individuals to practice medicine. PhD's can vary in the time it takes to earn them and they do not allow individuals to practice medicine, it is an academic degree, but not clinical. Medical school in the United States takes roughly 4 years to accomplish, and then physicians enter residency programs which allows them to earn more training in specialized fields such as surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine and so on. There are MD/PhD programs that exist that allow you to earn a medical degree as well as PhD simultaneously.
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Dionysus
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George’s Answer

I will add that a PhD program is not complete, I believe, until you write a thesis that is approved by a panel of professors in the same field of study. Completing the thesis can have some issues and prolong your PhD program. I will not give you the details of things that may happen but completing a thesis is hard work and can run into some delays. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Dionysus
Thank you comment icon Medical school is different from other PhD programs, regular MD students don't do a thesis. The only students who do are students that are in a joint MD/PhD or MD/MPH program that has additional research years. Raquel Davis
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Pamela’s Answer

Hi Dionysus,
Short answer - med school is 4 years and a PhD is variable; 2 or more years, but some of this time could overlap with med school studies.

Med school gives you the knowledge to care for patients while the PhD allows you to deeply study a field of science that has a clinical application. (Example below)

Medical school gets you an MD or DO (depending on which type of med school you choose) in 4 years. Either allow you to apply for residency in your clinical (patient care) specialty and “practice” while completing clinical training as a resident (usually another 3-4 years)

A PhD is a separate degree and can be completed before, during or after your medical degree but not once residency has begun. Schools who have an MD/PhD program allow for defined breaks in clinical training for you to pursue your PhD. Your PhD would be in a field of research that aligns with your clinical interest.

For example, a person interested in pediatric oncology who wants to study new treatments for childhood cancer might go to med school, complete residency in pediatrics, and do a fellowship in pediatric oncology. They might be interested in research as well and have done PhD work during med school in genetics or immunology. They would use the PhD training to pursue research interests once residency is complete. Their career might include clinical as well as further research in that area. Some people choose to do both, others might do only clinical work and others only research.

Hope this was helpful and not too complicated!
Pam
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Dionysus
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Midwest’s Answer

Dionysus, traditionally medical school lasts 4 years. There are some exceptions to this, such as some combined undergraduate and medical school degree programs, which typically last a total of 6 or 7 years instead of the 4 of college and 4 of medical school. Some undergraduate schools offer application and admission to their medical schools as a commitment when you are an undergraduate, but together are still a total of 8 years.

A PhD degree often does not have a defined length and depends on your progress towards your thesis. However, the most common structure of an MD/PhD degree is a total of 8 years and is often split into 2 years of medical school, the 4 year PhD, followed by the remaining 2 clinical years of medical school.

Both medical school and getting a PhD are a big deal! It will be important you want to do both before committing to that and should not pursue either or both unless it interests you and aligns with your career goals.

Hope this helps!

Midwest recommends the following next steps:

Find 3 people who have done an MD/PhD program and ask about their experience
Write down reasons why you want to go to medical school and also get a PhD, if you do
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Paul’s Answer

The average time from bachelors to attaining a Ph.D is 8.2 years.
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