Are MD-PhD Programs Meeting Their Goals?

As an MD/PhD student interested in medical education, I’ve begun to read through the Journal of Academic Medicine from time to time.  It’s an excellent resource for medical student leaders who frequently interact with the deans and administrators of the university.

It’s also worth a read for our visitors who still deciding on schools or whether or not to enter an MD/PhD program at all.  This journal will give you a look at the issues facing MD/PhD programs across the country.

An article last month by the who’s who of MD/PhD program directors caught my eye.  The article titled “Are MD-PhD Programs Meeting Their Goals?“ responds to a discussion about whether MD/PhD programs in their current structure are worth the investment.  Are the programs turning out physician scientists?

This is the largest study ever performed of the career outcomes for MD/PhD program graduates.  It identifies key trends over time in graduation times, specialty choices, and others.  The authors raise the importance of vertically integrating programs and a look at reforming programs to ultimately increase the number of graduates who one day receive RO1 training grants.  It’s a great article and worth a read.

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