This is the story of my life as an MD/PhD student. It is roughly an 8-year program, full of ups, downs, adventures, misadventures, and (hopefully) many new discoveries – both scientific and personal. It begins with the first two years of medical school, then 4-5 years of graduate work, then returning to medical school for the last two years of clinical rotations.
Relatively few people ever get to experience the training that a student goes through to become a doctor and a scientist. One hears stories of new cancer treatments and new medicines, exciting biomedical discoveries, and (of course) Nobel prizes. But what does it take to become one of the people coming up with those ideas? What is it really like to try and find a cure for cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes?
This blog is the story of my journey to do just that. My personal stories, my complaints, my successes, my failures. I’ll share the emotional, human side of scientific and medical training. What does the diploma really mean? What do those initials after the name truly represent? What kinds of sacrifices, struggles, failures, and successes does one pass through to reach that level? In short, what’s it like to be an MD/PhD student?
Each student’s experience is a little different. But this is my story. I will try to be open and honest about my feelings, because I want to give you a view of what life is like inside my head as I go through this training. I hope it sheds some light on why doctoral diplomas are framed and proudly displayed rather than hidden away in a shoebox and stored in a dark closet. Hopefully I can show you that they represent much more than just another college degree.