Forum: MD/Masters vs MD/PhD
0
gravatar for reginaphalange
4.3 years ago by
Korea, Republic Of
reginaphalange0 wrote:

Hi everyone --

I'm very new to the bioinformatics scene but am contemplating a dual-degree in bioinformatics and medicine. I'm an incoming medical student at Stanford and will be applying internally to their graduate bioinformatics program (which spans bioinformatics and clinical informatics). I tried searching the forums, and while there were several posts addressing MS vs PhD in general, there was little information re: dual-degrees with MDs.

I'm primarily interested in combining bio/clinical informatics with diagnoses/treatments/outcomes of poorly understood neurodevelopment disorders (e.g. autism spectrum disorder) using large neuroimaging datasets. Would you suggest that I just go for the MS or pursue the PhD? I'm mainly wondering if the PhD would be overkill for someone who won't be doing full-time research or a valuable asset as bioinformatics continues to advance as a field.

Any and all opinions would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

ms education phd forum md • 3.6k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.3 years ago by Devon Ryan90k • written 4.3 years ago by reginaphalange0
1
gravatar for Devon Ryan
4.3 years ago by
Devon Ryan90k
Freiburg, Germany
Devon Ryan90k wrote:

Within American biomedical academia, a masters degree is a largely meaningless piece of paper, which is why you haven't seen much mention of it. In many cases, it's what someone gets for dropping out of a PhD program early (e.g., that's what many programs at UCSF did). If you're purely interested in obtaining an additional degree so you can become a better diagnostician, then absolutely go for it! You just need to be aware that, at least within biomedicine in the US, a masters degree is unlikely to help your career much. Particularly among clinicians, you're likely to benefit your career more by doing a sub-specialization that incorporates clinical image analysis...and practically speaking this will be more directly beneficial than a master's degree in terms of patient care. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to look into such sub-specializations.

Another route for you would be to do a brief post-doc after getting your MD. You don't need a masters degree or a PhD to get hired as a post-doc (both my current and former PIs did that, in fact). If you find a lab that's working with datasets like the ones you're interested in, then a two-year post-doc could prove very useful. Note also that many med. students will do summer rotations in labs for similar purposes (I assume Stanford allows this, I've never heard of a school that didn't).

ADD COMMENTlink written 4.3 years ago by Devon Ryan90k
Please log in to add an answer.

Help
Access

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
Powered by Biostar version 2.3.0
Traffic: 1938 users visited in the last hour