19 responses

  1. Ron Voight
    December 22, 2013

    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.


  2. MM
    July 14, 2015

    I thank you very much for this so good, intensified, and condensed clarification/explanation about the fundamental difference between PhD and MD. Really i have searched for a long time for this informations and i think now, that i have reached my goal!
    Thanks a lot and have a nice night 🙂


    • Hannah
      August 28, 2016

      Awesome. Because all of this information is at best misleading and at worst downright false. Don’t EVER believe one source.


      • Hannah
        August 28, 2016

        Apologies. Person commenting before you had the facts. Original poster is so off base its infuriating.


  3. Hannah
    August 28, 2016

    Do one iota of research before you spread BS.

    “Typically, they do 1-2 years of internship. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists are also trained in giving psychological tests (like IQ tests or personality tests). Because of their medical training, psychiatrists can prescribe medication — probably the most commonly known distinction between the two fields.”


  4. cheryl
    January 4, 2017

    The article is easy to understand it might miss some marks but it puts it in perspective. The comments I’m like – what are they talking about?


  5. Faith
    May 29, 2018

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the statement “When discussing the origin of MD and Phd, the former was launched first […]” is completely inaccurate:
    The first doctoral degree i.e. PhD was awarded in medieval Paris around 1150.
    The first medical degree i.e. MD was awarded in 1703 in Glasgow.
    Therefore, the actual PhD degree came first, and not the MD degree.
    If we discuss ‘origins’ we could easily argue that medieval Arabs practiced doctoral studies that could have easily been the precursors to the PhD degree as opposed to the MD degree.


    • Monika
      September 7, 2018

      I think you are also wrong. What is at the end a MD? A degree in medicine, the qualification to certify that you can work as a physician. The Schola Medica Salernitana in Italy (from 11th until 13th century) was the first university recorded to grant a “medical degree” as you said before.

      Also, I don’t know why remains that “doctor” word in both cases because in any of them, MD or Ph.D., you are able to teach. Actually, to become a professor is a long way ahead.

      By the way, a physician just holding a MD can barely teach because hasn’t started his/her residency yet.

      PS: I didn’t know that medicine takes only four years in some places, because in the European Union and other countries is a minimum of six years term.


  6. Kenneth Okumu
    January 21, 2019

    In East Africa, all professors that teach medical students and supervise them as consultants at referral hospitals are almost all Ph.D. holders. It is misleading therefore for the original poster to infer that only a person with an MD can prescribe medicine.


  7. Dr Russell, Ph.D., M.D.
    April 13, 2019

    Ph.D. is the highest degree awarded by an accredited university. It takes 5 years approximately post Masters to obtain. Most MD’s follow the research of a Ph.D. It is grossly inaccurate to put M.D. before Ph.D. The correct way to list degrees obtained would be Ph.D., M.D., M.S. Ask any Tier I Research Institution. M.D.’s hijacked the term doctor when they truly are physicians, as J.D.’s are lawyers and cannot call themselves doctor.


    • David Phiri
      March 17, 2020

      I absolutely agree with you.
      Its comnon knowledge that physicians acquire the title of Doctor before they even get a Msc in thier field. On the other hand,one needs to get a masters and then do some serious research work before acquiring the title.


    • Bob
      May 21, 2020

      In general, an MD applies existing knowledge. A PhD creates NEW knowledge. The PhD is the highest academic degree that can be earned. The term “doctor” as it pertains to medical personnel has been corrupted. Its original meaning was someone who has risen to a sufficient level that he can teach others and is derived from “docere” to teach. Most doctors graduate with Batchelors degrees. Typically MBBS which stands for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, or in Latin: Medicinae Baccalaureus Baccalaureus Chirurgiae. To be strictly correct, medical doctors should really adopt the title “physician” to avoid confusion.


  8. Syed mazher husain istefa hussain
    April 16, 2019

    I invented illness diseases cause and treatment.(1)piles (2) gripe heat motion place patient desire dead sudden wants no extra life, breast cancer,head ache half,full gead ache birth 10/15,days continously head ache i invented only one or two times dose head ache dead always.aids,asthma,one invetion product stomach if consumed sux to seven numbers illness of stomach ache curable (i) long instestine no needs of surgery (ii)small intestine(iii)gall bladder(iv) kidney , prostate gland breast cancer, etc


    September 16, 2019

    please, I want you guys to help me with this. The degree of a person who did medicine in 6 years.


  10. Steven Pelech
    October 16, 2019

    In most universities in North America, and M.D. is an undergraduate degree, whereas a Ph.D. is a graduate degree.


    • Kusi B. Arthur
      December 6, 2019

      MD is never considered an undergraduate degree.Undergraduate degrees are baccalaureate and that is the least prerequisite for MD.You could say then that MD is a graduate program.to bolster this residency is called postgraduate program all over North America


  11. Dr Radi
    November 15, 2019

    Hello everyone

    I hold my M.D degree, gained it after the Master degree in orthopedic, and always noticed that books authors in orthopedic writing their degrees as ( M.D, Ph.D ) !!
    Is that right??

    Can I make the same or not??


  12. Michael C Asuzu
    March 7, 2020

    If anybody is rating any academic qualifications, it should be based on the academic course credits of such a degree. Medical schools in the US are after a bachelor’s degree & last another 3 or 4 years. PhDs are bachelor’s degree & another 3 or 4 years. In the UK, medical schools are 6 years after secondary education & PhDs 3 years after a 4 year bachelor’s degree & the durations of the medical school terms & learning times are much longer than any of those others. The MDs are after some residency further training & the researches are more broad-based, with clinical outcome or health service output advancements as outcomes. So, it should be easy to evaluate those trainings. In the final analysis, I believe that we will all do well to respect each other after these facts are laid bare for all “to use their tongues to count their teeth!


  13. E|M
    March 8, 2020

    MD is a lower degree than PhD. Don’t get it wrong. MD is equivalent to Masters level e.g MPhil in academia. I have recently gone through MD admission which is how I found out. It’s never at same level with PhD.

    And MD is not fully qualified to teach because even in PhD you must take teaching training alongside to be able to qualify to lecture afterwards.


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