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Author Topic: MD/JD Program...thoughts?  (Read 16785 times)

txlawstdnt

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MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« on: July 06, 2009, 03:44:37 PM »
I am considering doing an MD/JD program...for those who have done this, what are your thoughts?  Looking back, would you have done these programs separately?  I'm wondering how difficult it is to do 2 years medical school, 2 yearls law school, then going back to med school to wrap up the MD. 

mugatu

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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 08:10:54 PM »
I haven't done this, so this questions isn't applicable to me, but why?
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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 08:45:55 PM »
Also wondering why.
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txlawstdnt

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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 11:24:59 AM »
Why am I considering this program?  To have both sides of education should I choose to be involved in any public policy planning in medicine.

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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 12:06:01 PM »
If your primary focus is medicine and you want a legal background, spending an extra two years to obtain the JD seems reasonable. 

I can also understand wanting to understand the medical background for malpractice and personal injury cases.  I don't, however, understand spending 6+ years working towards a medical degree just to obtain a fund of knowledge that will help in the latter scenario.

txlawstdnt

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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 12:14:34 PM »
Yes, the prime focus would be medicine.  An education in law would be a supplement.  My question was more focused on which of these 2 options is better:

1) enter a MD/JD program (which occurs in this order: 2 years med, 2 years law, 2 years a combination of both)

or

2) obtain the degrees separately (MD first, then later work on the JD part time)

With option 1, I am wondering how was the transition back into the medical school curriculum.  I know this is a law school discussion board, but I wanted to see if anyone here has info on this.  There are only a handful of schools that actually have this joint degree program.

mugatu

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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 12:34:31 PM »
Why am I considering this program?  To have both sides of education should I choose to be involved in any public policy planning in medicine.

Well, as to your original question, the most important aspect of the 2+2+2 concept would be retaining and keeping your medical education up to date during the JD section.  Obviously, the curriculum in the second half of med-school is very different (clinical rotations) and the people that you will be working/learning with may have not taken such a break.  In certain circumstances, at least when doing a joint MD/PhD program, the individual is still surrounded by science.  There's no science in law school (or, at most, very little), and like most things, it's a use it or lose it scenario.

In addition, I would imagine that the compacted LS curriculum is fairly intense, so there's another consideration. 
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mugatu

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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 01:08:33 PM »
If your primary focus is medicine and you want a legal background, spending an extra two years to obtain the JD seems reasonable. 

I can also understand wanting to understand the medical background for malpractice and personal injury cases.  I don't, however, understand spending 6+ years working towards a medical degree just to obtain a fund of knowledge that will help in the latter scenario.


I don't really see either of these benefits.  Obviously if OP wants to go for the degree, great, but one hardly needs to go to law school in order to have a legal background.  If you aren't going to use the JD, then why not read some hornbooks and call it good (and save $70K along the way as well as opportunity cost of failing to become a doctor for two years ~$200K - or much more, give or take.) 

Furthermore, the two degrees are simply just too far away in practice to be actually useful together.  No one is ever a lawyer-doctor.  It takes to much time to keep up in either profession.  So, an MD/MPH (for instance) would seem to be far more beneficial if interested in policy work.  Or, at all instances in a medical career, always choose options that give experience with actual public policy issues (University outreach programs, T2 translational medicine, neglected disease research and treatment, etc.) 

Likewise, a JD will be able to gain knowledge without going to med school.  Primarily, by hiring MDs as witnesses.  A key issue here is that a JD/MD cannot be his or her own expert (because 1) there are too many areas of medicine to know them all as an expert and 2) few if any practice both) and thus limits the benefits of the two degrees. 

Of course, if one was contemplating a career change this seems reasonable.

In addition, there are some issues as to what a JD or MD means to outside parties.  It is likely that experience is much more valuable than the mere degree.
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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 04:08:11 PM »
Why am I considering this program?  To have both sides of education should I choose to be involved in any public policy planning in medicine.

This seems like a lot of work to be more involved/informed in policy debates. I'd just get whichever degree appealed to me more and stay up to date on the relevant developments in the other field.
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Re: MD/JD Program...thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 04:06:33 PM »
Yes, the prime focus would be medicine.  An education in law would be a supplement.  My question was more focused on which of these 2 options is better:

1) enter a MD/JD program (which occurs in this order: 2 years med, 2 years law, 2 years a combination of both)

or

2) obtain the degrees separately (MD first, then later work on the JD part time)

From what I can tell, year three is the most important year.  Step 1 & 2 and your clinical rotations are probably the most important aspects of your residency applications.  I think it would be a bad move to take two years off and then jump into your rotations. 

The part-time JD after MD is your best bet.  You probably won't have time to take a JD course until 7 years after you start medical school, though.