Perhaps immersion in both clinical and scientific education appeals to you. A classmate of my son in the Harvard Medical School’s Graduate Program in Medical Immunology, Bob, suffered with a personal battle with Type I Diabetes. As many of you know, this form of diabetes carries a heavy cost to the pancreas does not properly manage insulin levels in the body. Chronically elevated and mis-regulated blood glucose causes end-organ damage to the eye, the heart, the kidney and every blood vessel in the body. This can lead to blindness, kidney failure and heart attack. Bob’s life mission is to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes so as to alleviate his patient’s pain and suffering.
Conduct basic science and/or clinical research
Physician research has two component ‘bench’ or basic science such as chemistry, immunology and molecular biology. The other arm of research is clinical, where one investigators real patients and their conditions. Bench research is conducted in the laboratory and utilizes cell cultures, test tubes, pipettes, slides etc. Clinical research is the testing of theory with an application using human subjects in clinical trials. One example is when a pharmaceutical company produces a drug, testing it in real patients for efficacy and safety.
Translating scientific findings from basic science into clinical practice is translational research. In the past and currently, barriers exist aligning basic science and clinical research. The relatively new field of translational research looks into ways to incorporate basic science discoveries into practical application.
Become a future Biomedical Leader
Combining both a medical degree (MD) with a PhD leverages the best of both fields toward minimizing and treating disease. The timeline is typically 7 years, the first two in medical school, the next three in the lab, followed by the sixth year in both programs. The last year is spent in medical school seeing patients.
If the life as a physician-scientist sounds like an ideal future for you, on your path to solving one of mankind’s medical problems, perhaps the MD – PhD at Harvard/MIT program is for you. Please contact IvyBound if this journey sounds appealing.