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Difference Between MD and Phd

graduate-hatMD vs Phd

MD and Phd are both higher degrees. MD stands for Doctor of Medicine, and Phd stands for Doctor of philosophy.

The first difference that can be mentioned of the two, is that MD is associated with treating patients, and Phd is related to a doctor’s degree in other fields.

While MD pertains to a higher degree in medicine, a Phd can be obtained in various fields, like arts and the sciences. A person that has a MD degree can prescribe medicines, where as a person with a Phd cannot prescribe medicines. Phd is completely research oriented.

When discussing the origin of MD and Phd, the former was launched first. The origin of Doctor of Medicine is traced to the ninth century, when it was introduced in the medieval Arabic universities. The Doctor of Philosophy is known to have originated in the Middle Ages, in the European universities.

There is also the difference of time when studying for the degrees. While a person gets a MD after about four years, a person will only get a Phd in four to seven years. Getting a Phd also depends on the submission of the thesis paper.

Doctor of Philosophy comes from Latin philosophiæ doctor, which means ‘teacher of philosophy’. The Doctor of Medicine also comes from Latin, and means ‘teacher of medicine’.

A person gets a MD degree after two years of course work, and two years of rotational work, in some hospital or clinic. On the other hand, a person gets a Phd after he submits his thesis paper. The thesis is examined by a group of experts, and the person may also be called to defend his work.

Summary

1. MD stands for Doctor of Medicine, and Phd stands for Doctor of philosophy.

2. While MD pertains to a higher degree in medicine, a Phd can be obtained in various fields, like arts and the sciences.

3. A person with a MD degree can prescribe medicines

4. A person gets a MD degree after two years of course work, and two years of rotational work, in some hospital or clinic. On the other hand, a person gets a Phd only after his thesis paper has been approved.

5. The origin of Doctor of Medicine is traced to the ninth century, when it was introduced in the medieval Arabic universities. The Doctor of Philosophy is known to have originated in the Middle Ages, in the European universities.


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1 Comment

  1. Two glaring inaccuracy about PhDs: 1) completely research oriented, and 2) don’t treat patients. There are many clinical PhD (like a clinical psychologist), and the number of clinical fields in which one may obtain a clinical PhD continues to grow (nursing is an example). Also, in the USA, one frequently completes 3 years of post-college coursework toward a PhD, and then begins working on a dissertation/thesis. In many fields, the graduate of a PhD program is then expected to acquire specialized skills in a post-doctoral position, which typically lasts 3-7 years. Non-clinical, research PhDs may use the postdoctoral fellowship to acquire experience and skills in a clinical setting, and then independently engage in primary patient care after becoming certified by the appropriate “board” or governing body.

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