Vol. 150 No. 1516 (2020)
Characteristics and opinions of MD-PhD students and graduates from different European countries: a study from the European MD-PhD Association
- André dos Santos Rocha
- Marc Scherlinger
- Laura Ostermann
- David Marc Anton Mehler
- Aleksandra Nadiradze
- Friederike Schulze
- Laurence Feldmeyer
- Myrthe de Koning
- Vlad T. Berbecar
- Ruben Buijs
- Jan David Kijlstra
- Ali Jawaid
MD-PhD programmes throughout the world provide a platform for medical trainees to commit to a physician-scientist career, qualifying with both a medical degree (MD or equivalent) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). However, there are limited studies assessing the characteristics of MD-PhD programmes in Europe and the outcomes of MD-PhD students and graduates.
This study aims at a first country-wise exploration of characteristics, opinions, and academic outcomes of MD-PhD students and graduates in Europe.
Two questionnaires were developed to assess the demographics, MD-PhD programme characteristics, opinions, future career paths and academic outcomes of European MD-PhD students and graduates. An online survey of 278 MD-PhD students and 121 MD-PhD graduates from nine and six European countries, respectively, was completed between April 2016 and December 2017. The country-wise categorical responses were then compared through chi-square analysis followed by multiple logistic regression.
Responses from 266 MD-PhD students and 117 MD-PhD graduates were considered valid. Significant country-wise differences (p <0.05) were observed for age group, resident status, clinical time allocation, duration of studies, sources of funding, publications, average impact factor of the journals in which the research was published, satisfaction with the duration of MD-PhD studies and future career choices of MD-PhD students. Responses related to self-perception about clinical and research competence and challenges faced during MD-PhD training did not show a significant country-wise difference.
The MD-PhD workforce in Europe is highly diverse in their demographics, programme characteristics and career paths but does not differ in opinions related to the challenges faced. The results of this study may be helpful for implementation and improvement of MD-PhD programmes.
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