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What is better PHD or MD?

Updated: 10/10/2023
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15y ago

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PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy, MD is Doctor of Medicine although both are addressed by the title of Dr. A doctor of Medicine is trained to administer medical treatments to patients who come to her/him for help. A PhD can be obtained in many different fields including liberal arts and the sciences. PhD was originally an academic degree, and it still is. Some PhD's may offer various kinds of treatment to individuals (ie, Psychologists) but most non-medical PhD's are earned for academic and not for purposes of direct treatment of presenting issues.

The MD program focuses on courses to develop the knowledge of the students who are going to become practicing medical doctors. The PhD has a similar course requirement for the respective field of study; however the PhD program requires a PhD student to also provide a significant contribution back to their respective field of study also know as a dissertation or doctoral thesis. Basically this makes two classes of doctorates, the professional doctorates (MD, DO, etc.) and the research doctorates (PhD). Bluntly put the PhD has a higher status academically than any professional doctorate (MD, DO, etc.), however professional doctorate (MD, DO, etc.) are more applied the PhD's.

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13y ago
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15y ago

Yes, a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is the highest degree. Other doctoral degrees (e.g., MD, DDS, JD, DVM, DO, etc.) are professional degrees; they are, though, the highest degrees in their respective fields. There also is a ranking within those professional degrees.

Consider that to get an MD, DDS, JD, etc., one has to pass a written exam in their specific area of study, which means one has to know facts. Compare that with a Ph.D., which means one is trained in thinking (philosophy = love of wisdom, knowledge) and one is trained to think in a broad sense (i.e., not just in one's field; medicine, dentistry, law, etc.). A Ph.D. then typically has conducted and analyzed self-designed research (experimental or other). Also, a Ph.D. must then have written and defended a dissertation before other Ph.D.'s on their committee, and those defenses are filled with on-the-fly questions from the committee, regarding research design, implementation, etc.

There are many descriptions on the web, but, basically, a Ph.D. is trained to think and do research. An MD (etc.) is trained in facts (which frequently change).

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15y ago

It's not that one is better than the other. It's just that they are different. Both are doctorate degrees and the highest level of academic attainment. If you plan on achieving that level of education, the question then becomes which one is best for you, based on your personal career goals and objectives?

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