Difference Between MD vs PhD
To attain some level of educational credibility, one is expected to start school as early as possible and keep going until the highest level. Some choose to stop schooling after they bag their degree certificate while others may decide to go all the way to a higher qualification to get their PhD or MD depending on the person’s field of study.
In this post, we will answer the question, “What is the difference between PhD and MD?” Anyone with either of these two qualifications is referred to as a doctor, but there are some distinct differences you should take note of.
Definition of MD
MD is simply an abbreviation that stands for Doctor of Medicine, which is the first professional medical degree awarded to medical students in the US or degree awarded to MBBS holders after completing their doctorate studies in medicine.
It may not come across as a straightforward definition, but one thing that is straightforward about this degree qualification is that it is only obtainable in the medical field regardless of one’s country of study.
Anyone looking to obtain their MD is expected to go through some form of theoretical and practical training where they will be engaged in lectures, lab work, and advanced science education in the earlier years of studies.
In the latter years, the student will have to face more realistic tasks where they are engaged with clinical practices where they learn by practicing under the supervision of their superiors.
One clear difference between MD and PhD is that the former is a professional qualification in the medical field, unlike the latter, which is an academic qualification in varying fields.
Definition of PhD
PhD is an acronym that stands for Doctor of Psychology, an academic qualification awarded at the highest level of any subject. A person who has this qualification is referred to as an academic doctor and is expected to have bagged their bachelor’s and master’s degree from a standard higher institution of learning.
Persons that wish to get this highest educational qualification in any subject are expected to have their M.Sc. with a minimum cumulative score average as expected by their school of choice as well as some other prerequisites. The students will be engaged in lectures, research, and require practical experience throughout their years of studies.
Just before the conclusion of their program, they are expected to do a research work on a particular topic, write extensively about it, submit, and present it to their superiors as their dissertation, which marks the end of their program.
In the PhD vs MD comparison, one important fact that stands out is how important research is in the former. This research should be unique based on previous knowledge or a theory to contradict an existing one. whatever be the case, students are expected to contribute a new theory and knowledge to the field with their dissertation research.
Main Differences Between MD vs PhD
Here is a simple representation of the difference between these two terms in a tabular form.
|Basis of Comparison||MD||PhD|
|Definition||An abbreviation that stands for Doctor of Medicine, which is the first professional medical degree awarded to medical students in the US, or degree awarded to MBBS holders after completing their doctorate studies in medicine||An acronym that stands for Doctor of Psychology, an academic qualification awarded at the highest level of any subject|
|Field of application||Medicine||Academics and other non-medical fields|
|Nature of study||Clinical practice||Research work|
|Purpose of study||To learn more by applying existing knowledge and theories practically||To introduce new knowledge and theories|
|Referred to as||Medical doctor||Academic doctor|
Difference Between MD and PhD: Conclusion
When you compare MD vs PhD holders, one of the most outstanding similarities between the two is that both of them are referred to as “doctors,” that is assuming you choose to ignore the prefixes in both cases. But from what we have seen so far in this post, there are more differences between the two than there are similarities.
Medicine also incorporates research work to ensure advancement and greater efficiency in practice, but more often than not, the research work is left for biomedical researchers who practice experimental medicine.