If you are interested in becoming a physician-scientist, I invite you to consider the Joint MD-PhD program offered by McGill University. What are physician-scientists? They are practicing physicians who dedicate the majority of their time to conducting research. Usually working at academic medical centers, they teach and have administrative and clinical duties like other academic physicians. What distinguishes physician-scientists? They are particularly committed to the creation of new medical knowledge. They play a key role by pinpointing novel and clinically relevant questions at the bedside and by using their knowledge and tools to research these questions. They then take their research results and use them at the bedside. How does one become a physician-scientist? One of the best ways to becoming a physician-scientist is by obtaining joint MD-PhD degrees.
Created in 1989, McGill’s Joint MD-PhD program is one of the oldest in Canada. In addition to the medical teaching and training McGill has become internationally renowned for, our program aims to set the stage for successful careers as physician-scientists. This is accomplished in a number of ways: focused research training; a unique seminar series offering students opportunities to meet other physician-scientists and didactic lectures to develop the requisite skills for a successful research career; as well as individual, personalized mentoring from different mentors, see the Director's explanation of the MD-PHD program structure. If you are considering a career as a physician and are experienced and passionate about research, then McGill’s Joint MD-PhD program is for you. We encourage applications from students wishing to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences, but also in less conventional domains.
Physician-scientists make a real difference. They contribute to the survival and the improvement in quality of life of many patients. While it may not be apparent on a daily basis, they are actors in the discovery of new knowledge with long-lasting impact on patient care, for example, developing a small probe that can distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous brain cells. They train the next generation of physicians and researchers, who will in turn take our current knowledge base further. It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend the physician-scientist career path – few career paths are so meaningful and gratifying.
Wishing you all the best in your endeavours,
Mark J. Eisenberg, MD, MPH
Director, MD-Ph.D. program
Professor of Medicine
Staff Cardiologist, Jewish General Hospital