To gain admission in an M.D.-Ph.D. in Medicine program, prospective students must have a bachelor's or master's degree in biology or related subjects, submit their MCAT and GRE test scores, and undergo a medical school interview.
Once admitted to the program, students will pursue their studies for about seven to eight years. Studying for a doctorate in medicine is an extended experience. The first two years generally consist of pre-clinical coursework. This is followed by graduate school and the writing of a dissertation. These studies are rounded out with medical school. Students choose their own specialization such as neuroscience, epidemiology or genetics. Doctoral candidates design experiments and use modern technology to perform biomedical research. Graduates may pursue careers in clinical work, medical academia or research.
Doctorate in Medicine
Students begin patient contact early on in an M.D.-Ph.D. program and continue to build on that with theory and research. Classes vary according to specialty. Core courses include, but are not limited to:
- Biomedical ethics
- Health research and policy
- Dissertation research
- Molecular biology
- Medical pharmacology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Medical scientists are projected to experience an employment increase of 8% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those with an M.D. and Ph.D. in Medicine have the best prospects. The BLS also reported that a medical scientist's median annual wage was $82,240 in May 2015.
Employment prospects for physicians and surgeons are projected to increase 14% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. Family physicians earned a median annual salary of $221,419 in May 2015. Compensation is dependent on specialty and setting.
Continuing Education Information
The advancement of medicine and technology requires medical doctors to update their knowledge throughout their careers, and licensing may require continuing education classes. The number of credits and frequency are dictated by specialty, and many medical schools and other academic outlets offer continuing medical education options.
The Ph.D. in Medicine program, often offered as a combination with an M.D. degree, allows students to perform biomedical research and write a dissertation in their chosen area of specialization such as neuroscience, epidemiology or genetics.