What is more work? A regular MD or the complete path to a PhD?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Friendlyman, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Re: No contest... MD by far

    Bwahahaha...! What else can be said to so outlandish a view?!

  2. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    I looked into law school at one point, and I wouldn't rank the J.D. anywhere near the M.D. in terms of rigor (though I would put some law school programs ahead of most Ph.D.'s). Busho, if you think you can wipe out a doctorate in 18 months, I urge you to sign up for an Aussie or South African program and take advantage of the low tuition (research programs charge by the semester); I think you'd find it to be an eye-opening experience. Good luck.

  3. Tom57

    Tom57 Member

    I agree with this. There are MD's who couldn't do a PhD in physics or math or comparative lit, and there are PhD's who couldn't handle the MD work. There must be some rare folk who could do either.

    MD's aren't required to do original work, but they are required to put in ungodly hours and are subjected to a lot of stress.

    I think it's apples and oranges.
  4. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    This is certainly true and I have known a number of Doctors (MDs) who have entered medical school with Humanities/Social Science Bachelor degrees. However, I believe that there are certain prerequisites for application to most, if not all medical schools such as anatomy and physiology courses, organic chemistry, etc. There are several very good programs in the Boston area that offer this coursework "package" to people who have already graduated and then, at some time afterwards, decided to give med school a shot.
  5. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    There are several very good programs in the Boston area that offer this coursework "package" to people who have already graduated and then, at some time afterwards, decided to give med school a shot.

    I believe Harvard's Extension has a graduate certificate or Masters-level degree program that's cheap, open admissions, and accomplishes this very thing.
  6. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    In reality, we're spitting into the wind on this one. None of us can have any great inkling about it, unless we have a JD, MD and PhD in hand--and I don't believe they're any on this forum, can't be more than a handful in the world. About the only way to know is if you formed a club and these Mensa-types with the triumvirate of doctorates attended and you interviewed them all--and even that would be an imperfect process.

    It's apples and oranges, and a lot is riding on what type of PhD we're discussing--no one can convince me that my wife's doctoral work in pure mathematics didn't utterly destroy anything that a PhD in English, Sociology or even Psychology encounters. And for that matter, I doubt sincerely that one out of three med school students could hack the really tough abstract PhD-level Mathematics courses she gutted out.
  7. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Perhaps attrition rates might be an interesting measure of difficulty of the three programs (i.e., JD, MD and PhD)... Anyone have that info handy?

  8. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    I would guess the PhD programs would be overwhelmingly the highest in attrition, but that would likely be because of the unstructured nature of the system rather than the relative difficulty of the program. However, attrition is a start. I think my law school class graduated 155 out of about 180 who started--by that measure, pretty easy.
  9. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I think when PhD students whine about difficulty they are referring to the process of proposing and defending original research, and getting it through a committee of content experts.

    After the coursework and comps are complete, the process seems similar to that scene in Kill Bill Vol 2 entitled the Cruel Tutelage of Pei Mei, when Beatrix is reminded that she knows nothing, is whacked on the head when she fails to punch her bloodied fist through the wood plank, and has to admit that she is but a worm fighting against an eagle.

    My chair is fabulous and has been merciful, but many PhD students simply give up because the "tightrope across Niagra Falls" is too difficult. While other professions have difficult challenges too in the early stages of the profession after the degree is conferred, the process of simply getting the PhD degree conferred is quite difficult and most PhD students don't finish.

    Best wishes,

  10. Ike

    Ike New Member

    It's the toughest bachelor's degree

    Let’s not forget that the medical degree is a bachelor’s degree in most countries, even though it is the toughest first degree to get.
  11. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    My wife came about a class short of her ABD in Math--she got that close to starting her dissertation work--looked over the precipice--and said "Thanks, but no thanks, I'm going to go make some money." It didn't help that one of the graduated PhDs from her department--which was a top 40 brick-and-mortar program--had recently taken the only job he could find, a non-tenure eligible position for the princely sum of $25K/year. She went to work in private industry with her Masters and was soon making way over that. Another reason for the attrition is that the students being churned through the mill of endless teaching as a GTA for peanuts with the PhD carrot on the string always just out of reach simply get burned out.

    At least law school and med school want their students to graduate rather than using them as indentured servants indefinately--PhD programs in graduate departments can be extremely depressing, cynical places.
  12. Friendlyman

    Friendlyman New Member

    It seems from this the thread that PhDs study more (maybe learn more as well), but MDs have a more unpleasant process because of the "working" stuff, like people dying, tough responsibilities, long hours and stuff like that.

    Is it correct?
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    That is one of the reasons why a DL PhD is very attractive. Going back to school for 4 years to end with a job that is paying less that what you were making in industry with a bachelor's or master's degree is not exactly a good deal. Also, take into consideration that most of the PhD students make barely enough to survive but some have families to support and the idea to go back is not an option. The PhD is a respected degree mainly becuase we admire people that makes all these sacrifices just for the love to the field.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It terms of years of study, an MD seems to be almost equivalent to a PhD (at least in the US or Canada) since they both require at least 8 years of study. The PhD trains to become a faculty/researcher while the MD to become a practicioner.

    However, you have MDs that teach and conduct research and PhDs working in industry jobs that don't require research skills. At the University level, an MD is allowed to teach Medicine and so the PhD, so at least universities regard both of them as "Doctors".
  15. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Re: It's the toughest bachelor's degree

    True...however it is not considered an undergraduate degree in the U.S. Colleges and universities tend to treat faculty with MDs and JDs as equivalent to PhDs, at least in rank, salary and tenure.

    Tony Piña
    Northeastern Illinois University
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    List of Professional Doctorates

    Regarding professional degrees that use the title "doctor," am I missing any other than the following?

    • M.D. Medical Doctor
    • J.D. Juris Doctor
    • D.O. Doctor of Osteopathy
    • O.D. Doctor of Optometry
    • Pharm.D. Doctor of Pharmacy
    • Au.D. Doctor of Audiology
    • D.V.M. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
    • D.D.S. Doctor of Dental Surgery
    • D.C. Doctor of Chiropractic

  17. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    Re: List of Professional Doctorates

    DM - Doctor of Management
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: List of Professional Doctorates

    DM, DBA, D.Arch and many other doctorate degrees are regarded as the PhD by the department of education of the US rather than professional first degrees like MDs. So they are not in the same catergory.

    "Since the Ph.D. is the most widely known of the research doctorates among university professors in the United States, there is often a perceived bias in favor of the Ph.D. over other doctoral degrees, though in certain fields outside of university teaching/research, an alternate to the Ph.D. may be preferred. The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) recognize numerous other research-oriented (as opposed to first-professional, see below) doctoral degrees as equivalent to the Ph.D. and do not discriminate between them. These are:

    Doctor of Arts (D.A), Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch), Doctor of Applied Science (D.A.S.), Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.), Doctor of Chemistry (D.Chem.), Doctor of Criminal Justice (D.C.J.), Doctor of Comparative/Civil Law (D.C.L.), Doctor of Criminology (D.Crim.), Doctor of Environmental Design (D.E.D.), Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng.) , Doctor of Environment (D.Env.), Doctor of Engineering Science (D.E.Sc./Sc.D.E.), Doctor of Forestry (D.F.), Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.), Doctor of Geological Science (D.G.S.), Doctor of Hebrew Literature/Letters (D.H.L.), Doctor of Health and Safety (D.H.S.), Doctor of Hebrew Studies (D.H.S.), Doctor of Industrial Technology (D.I.T.), Doctor of Library Science (D.L.S.), Doctor of Music (D.M.), Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A, A.Mus.D.), Doctor of Musical Education (D.M.E.), Doctor of Ministry (D.Min./D.M.), Doctor of Modern Languages (D.M.L), Doctor of Music Ministry (D.M.M.), Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.), Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.Sc.), Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.H.), Doctor of Physical Education (D.P.E.), Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.), Doctor of Professional Studies (D.P.S.), Doctor of Design (Dr.DES.), Doctor of Religious Education (D.R.E.), Doctor of Recreation (D.Rec./D.R.), Doctor of Science (D.Sc./Sc.D), Doctor of Science in Dentistry (D.Sc.D.), Doctor of Science and Hygiene (D.Sc.H.), Doctor of Science in Veterinary Medicine (D.Sc.V.M.), Doctor of Sacred Music (D.S.M.), Doctor of Social Science (D.S.Sc.), Doctor of Social Work (D.S.W), Doctor of Education (Ed.D), Doctor of Canon Law (J.C.D.), Doctor of Juristic Science (J.S.D.), Doctor of the Science of Law (L.Sc.D.), Doctor of Rehabilitation (Rh.D.), Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) "

  19. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    I know where you're coming from, but I would still regard a DM a practitioner's degree, and irregardless of the DOE's slant on this, I'm pretty sure that in academia, most consider it a professional-type degree--they certainly don't consider it worthy of the same breath as "PhD". A matter of semantics, perhaps.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The debate of DBA, DM vs PhD has been discussed for long time is this forum. In some countries like Australia, the DBA came as a need to further education for those holding an MBA degree. Contrary to the US, In Australia you are required to finish a research master's before admission to a PhD degree so the MBA was considered a terminal degree. In the US, you have universities that only grant DBAs (like Nova). In some languages (French, Spanish) there is no distinction between the two degrees. The fact is that you have PhDs working in Industry and DBAs working in academia, the semantics of the degree doesn't matter as much as your results as academic, researcher or professional.

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