“MD/PhD programs are designed to prepare individuals for careers as physician-scientists. The physician-scientist is an individual who possesses the clinical skills and knowledge of medicine combined with the expert mastery of an area of science and the scientific method… By the dual nature of their training, they are individuals with unique perspective: their MD/PhD training has provided them with experiences and instincts to observe clinical syndromes, to reflect on those symptoms in the light of fundamental biological science, and to pursue the study of those diseases through hypothesis-driven research.” – Robert Ulane, NYU School Of Medicine

The MD/PhD degree is one unlike any other. It is for people who aren’t content with the clinical aspect of medicine; they aren’t satisfied with only diagnosing the patient and prescribing medications. They dig deeper, into the science and molecular aspect of the diseases that manifest in their clinic.

The relationship between the biological science and medicine is incredibly strong, and each are vital to the other’s success. Biological mysteries are solved to give patients suffering terrible diseases a chance to recover, and medical advancements are made from biological discoveries applied to the understanding of human anatomy. Medicine and research coexist in a symbiotic relationship, each supporting the other and fueling innovation. They might be able to exist on their own, but will never be nearly as successful as they could be together.

This middle ground between a physician and a scientist is hard to acheive, and takes longer than a typical MD degree. The average length to attain an MD/PhD degree is eight years. However, the MD/PhD program has one benefit that MD progrms don’t have. Students who get accepted into these programs usually get their medical school paid for, AND a stipend during their years conducting research for their PhD! Definitely makes the long haul worthwhile, for the most part!

The road to become a physician-scientist is long, and filled with many challenges. However, it is highly rewarding. Here are some other articles to help you in your decision:

Written by: Elizabeth Gorodetsky

Reposted from November 2015

Related Sites:


India Study Abroad

This past winter, I traveled to Jamkhed, Maharashtra, India on a Global Health: Ethnography study abroad session. I was humbled by the successful, sustainable health care the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), founded by Drs. Arole, provided to the rural villages in Jamkhed and surrounding districts.

Sustainable by Development

Dr. Raj and Mabelle Arole believed in “comprehensive health care,” which means that the living conditions of the villagers were just as important as their health. And this so logical, since we know that how we live directly affects health repercussions. Because of this mindset, Drs. Arole decided to progress the development of villages to improve their health. Some examples of this were providing clean drinking water, covering water pits (to prevent mosquitos from breeding and spreading malaPicture1ria), and improving irrigation (for water supply during dry seasons).

In the doctors’ book,
Jamkhed, one story particularly struck out to me about the importance of development in rural areas. During a demonstration when the villagers went up to thank the Aroles, the majority of villagers were grateful for the water pumps installed in the villages rather than for the medical work the doctors were providing. In impoverished areas, it is vital to provide basic necessities to improve health.

Sustainable by Empowerment

Another aspect of CRHP I was impressed with was that it strove to change the traditional social structure. The caste system is thousands of years old and embedded in the Indian way of life. On top of that, the society is heavily patriarchal. In order to fight these norms, Drs. Arole had to come up with tactics to change the perspectives of both the health workers that worked for them and the villagers. They sat in circles rather than having the highest status person sit at the head of the floor mat. They placed the water pumps in areas where the Untouchables (lowest of the caste system) lived, so that different castes had to interact to get water. One key tactic was to train women to become village health workers. This gave the women more respect and responsibilities in the village. Furthermore, training a villager rather than bringing in someone new to be the village health work allows the village to stand on its own instead of relying on CRHP.

CRHP’s mission and impact in Jamkhed has shown me that sustainable health care in underserved areas is attainable. My experience in Jamkhed has reinforced my desire to serve in an underdeveloped community. And now, when I hope to improve people’s health, I will remember that development and empowerment are just as important factors as medicine to better comprehensive health.

Written by: Sharon Pang

Further Readings:

Jamkhed: A Comprehensive Rural Health Project, by Mabelle and Rajanikant Arole

Toilet Paper Paradise

The “Toiletpaper Paradise” exhibit at the Cadillac House located in SoHo, NYC immerses the viewer into an eccentric and interactive experience. From the name of the exhibit, it may seem like it is just a room that has been teepeed, but it is actually a room containing many unique and unusual pieces. There is spaghetti wallpaper plastered on the walls and floor, a giant bar of soap with a bite missing from it, and a life-size plastic crocodile guarding the the entrance. Touching, sitting, playing, and reclining are highly encouraged. The artists want the audience to fully experience and try to take in as much of their artwork as possible.

IMG_1510There are plenty of comfy seating to be found on either the bed or the quirky sofa and various lounge chairs, so it is possible to sit and relax and observe all of the outlandish features and miniscule details that make the exhibit feel whole. According to the “The Architect’s Newspaper”, this exhibit is also known to be reminiscent of a feeling of “Mad Men on Acid” due to “…a range of mid century modern furniture that can be found within the setting.” The creativity for this funky gallery stems from artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari and is sponsored by “ToiletPaper Magazine”, which has many of the pieces displayed in the exhibit for sale on their website. This psychedelic experience is open until April 12th and is free to the public!

Written by: Elina Ashirova


“Toiletpaper Paradise” on Show at the Cadillac House in Manhattan.” N.p., 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.

Dental Public Health

Public Health is a crucial and necessary movement implemented in communities in order to serve people’s’ wellbeing. There are specific organizations that propose projects to aid the community and its unique circumstances. Communities that lack imperative health care such as proper dental care are in great need of outreach programs that would provide them the necessary oral hygiene care. In order to provide this care, there are global and local outreach programs that target underserved countries or local communities.

Give Kids a Smile is one of many local outreach programs that targets underserved elementary school children that lack proper dental care. When I began volunteering for Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) through the New York County Dental Society, I noticed how essential outreach programs are to a community that lacks one. As I volunteered for this program I began to understand the power and potential that an outreach organization can have on developing youth. Give Kids a Smile allows dentists, dental students, undergraduates, and other health-care workers to volunteer and give back to the community. The purpose is not only to educate future dentists, but also to give proper dental screenings to children from kindergarten to fifth grade. My job as a screening assistant was to bring young children to the dental screeners and record any information the dentist would give me about their teeth condition. I noticed how these children, who were initially apprehensive, began to take interest and realize the importance of having healthy teeth. Thus, GKAS resonated through the elementary schools it visited, and created an impactful image on dental care.Print

Similarly, I spent one Sunday at the Annual NYU Dental Student Public Health event in order to learn more of how crucial public health is and what are the different types of categories Public Health could fall under. The program was divided into breakout sessions, as well as lectures and discussions with influential and remarkable keynote speakers. From a variety of engaging breakout sessions, I chose to focus on AIDS Awareness and Local/Global Community Outreach. Each session revolved around a specific prompt to focus on, we were also allowed to voice our opinions and/or experiences, and how those experiences and notions helped shape the way we see Public Health. Having an event where different aspects of Public Health are being discussed was influential to how we could keep progressing with Public Health. By discussing the pros, cons, and improvements in each breakout session, we were able to better understand how we could improve the oral care, dental ethics, dental volunteering, and dental compassion.

Dental Public Health is crucial in providing services and compassion to those who are underserved in communities. Whether the programs deal with global outreach programs or local programs in our own communities, Public Health organizations and Public Health schools all show the resonating benefits of coming together to create a better and safer life for another.

Written by: Danielle Golder