What Is The Real Difference Between An MD And Phd?

In medical industry sometimes people tend to get confused between the terms MD and PhD. Let us discuss what makes them different.
MD stands for Doctor of Medicine or Medicinae Doctor while PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. People who have completed MD or PhD are both called doctors. You may not be able to differentiate between them with just their full-forms.
The title of MD is given to someone who has completed their graduation from a stream of medicine or from a medical school. The title of PhD on the other hand, is given to someone who has completed the highest level of education after successfully completing the Master’s degree. A Master’s degree can be done in any field which can further be pursued in PhD. This is why in both situations the individuals completing either course are awarded the title of a Doctor. Although the title is same the meaning and their course of work would be different.

Requirements to Become an MD

This is overall requirement that we are discussing here but to get an MD degree the requirements may differ according to the speciality. Generally after completing an undergraduate degree of 4 years a doctor would complete another 4 years in medical school and then finish off with a residency training of another 3 to 7 years before they can get a medical license to practice. A Bachelor’s degree is meant to prepare the aspiring doctors to prepare for medical school. Students usually take up subjects in biology or chemistry while they get their Bachelor’s degree. Many schools also have pre-medical programs that comprise of classes that help the students prepare for MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

In the first year of their residency the doctors face their final medical licensing exam and the remaining years is all about practical work in the hospital.

Requirements to Become a PhD

You can get a PhD in any subject that you like. After completing your Master’s degree a PhD would take not less than 6 years. The six years consists of two phases – in the first 2 or 3 years the student would have to take advanced courses in the field they wish to pursue and then finish a specific set of exams. The number of course credits depends entirely on the University from which the student is pursuing the PhD. Once they clear the exam they would need to prepare and present a dissertation project. This would take them 2-3 years more. A dissertation is a document that contains the in-depth study of the subject in which the student is doing the PhD.

Both the degrees are important and valuable in their own way. On completing the courses there is respect and good job that await you one should also be prepared to invest time and several years if they wish to get the degree. Becoming a MD or PhD is merely an individual’s interest and career choice.

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