Online doctoral programs in medicine are designed to train you to be a physician-scientist who can work across a range of clinical disciplines and research areas. You can pursue your Ph.D. separately, but many programs offer a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree. The Ph.D. studies allow you to concentrate on specific areas... of medical science such as Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Molecular Medicine, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Epidemiology, and Public Health.
In a dual degree program, introductory courses could provide you with a foundation for understanding current disease-oriented research. They also build your critical thinking skills. You will then go through medical school and research training. During preclinical years of medical school, you may begin fulfilling some of your Ph.D. requirements. In later phases of your doctoral program, you will move into dissertation research. You will then complete your clinical rotation requirements. In advanced medical programs such as this, there may also be opportunities for informal learning through workshops, seminars, and faculty-student mentoring programs.
By earning your dual M.D./Ph.D. degree, you may become part of a group of scientists who are trained in basic sciences and clinical medicine. After graduation, you could continue your research and work to find answers to medical mysteries. Medial scientist are often on the front lines of searching for cures to cancer, an end to the AIDS epidemic in the underdeveloped world, and better treatments for those dealing with chronic diseases.
Dental scientist programs are also often offered as dual degree D.D.S./Ph.D. programs. The focus is on training dental professionals to find new, better ways to diagnose and treat patients. A rigorous, eight-year program, the dual degree option includes research and lab rotations in addition to the traditional D.D.S. studies. You will also need to complete clinical rotations and research. Following your studies, you could work in private practice, continue to conduct research in the field, or go into academia and teach the next generation of dental students.
To do well in these highly intense doctoral programs, you need to be a successful medical professional with deep knowledge of medicine or dentistry. You also need to be extremely motivated and committed to research. As rapid changes occur in the way we diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases, this is a growing need for highly skilled experts who can evaluate the efficacy of existing medical procedures and discover better options. Your doctoral degree may allow you to be one of those select leaders who can make a difference.