username2975406
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What are reasons for pursuing a career path in medicine, to then so fully academic research medicine, as to taking a biomedical route?
Also, if academic research medicine is what you would like to do, is this worth mentioning on a medical personal statement?
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StationToStation
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By "to then do fully academic research medicine", do you mean just doing research all the time?

I think that people generally use the term "academic medicine" to refer to doing both clinical work and research (and often teaching) simultaneously. If that's what you mean, then the biggest difference between the two routes is obviously that in academic medicine you get to be a doctor and treat patients, in a purely science-based career you don't. Some people find working with patients rewarding and enjoyable, and some people would rather dedicate all their time for other stuff (which, I assume, generally means that they get further in academia because they only focus on that).

If you mean doing a medical degree and then progressing into pure academia, imo there's really no good reason to do a medical degree instead of a biomedical one. Like... Do you really want to waste time and money learning how to do rectal exams and tell people they have terminal cancer if you don't actually intend to treat patients? Some people seem to think that a medical degree sounds more prestigious but I honestly doubt whether that matters. You can get an impressive CV with a biomed degree by going to a top uni, getting good grades, taking up research opportunities and doing a PhD. Besides, if you go into academic medicine and specialize in some field of medicine you presumably have 6 years of med school + 2 years of foundation training + 4 years of PhD + 6 or so years of specialty training = 18 years before you can actually start doing the things you're aiming to do. If you do a biomed degree you presumably have 3 years of undergrad + 1 year of Master's + 4 years of PhD = 8 years before you get to do what you want.

Sure you can mention academic medicine in your ps if you think it's relevant. Don't just throw it in without appropriate context though. They won't care if you can't tie it in with something like how your passion for the science behind medicine is driving you towards a career as a doctor or whatever.
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username2975406
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Really insightful - thank you.

By fully academic research, yes, I did mean doing research all the time as there are a minority of doctors who do this. Although as you said, most combine clinical with academia.

If you would like to do research into a specific medical speciality, let's say psychiatry, would a biomedical route enable this to happen?

I am conflicted by my career choices. My desire to do medicine is largely science based, in that I seek to understand the science behind medicine, and then apply the knowledge within a clinical context to treat patients. I also want to reach far in research, and so perhaps wonder whether medicine may prevent me from doing this.
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Chem8585)
Really insightful - thank you.

By fully academic research, yes, I did mean doing research all the time as there are a minority of doctors who do this. Although as you said, most combine clinical with academia.

If you would like to do research into a specific medical speciality, let's say psychiatry, would a biomedical route enable this to happen?

I am conflicted by my career choices. My desire to do medicine is largely science based, in that I seek to understand the science behind medicine, and then apply the knowledge within a clinical context to treat patients. I also want to reach far in research, and so perhaps wonder whether medicine may prevent me from doing this.
Yep you can do research in e.g. psychiatry even if you're not a doctor. Obviously you'd need to study subjects that are relevant like neuroscience and pharmacology but that shouldn't be a problem. If you want, you can go lurk in the psychiatry department websites of unis and look what kind of paths the researchers have followed

Ah yeah, that's a tough choice then! There are lots of doctors who are also very successful within academia, but the truth is that being also a doctor would probably prevent you from reaching your full potential as a researcher. You just need to invest so much time in it. I'm also thinking of maybe going into academic psychiatry, but in addition to being passionate about science I also really, really want to work and interact with patients and see concretely the difference I make to them, so for me medicine was an easy choice. I guess your choice comes down to how much you want to work with patients. If it's "just" for the practical applications of science then medicine might not be worth it - there are plenty of opportunities for that in research too.

Don't feel super pressured about the decision now though. If you change your mind you can go into research after your med school degree without "wasting" more than a couple of years, and you can go into medicine through grad entry after your biomed degree without "wasting" more than a couple of years.
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(Original post by Chem8585)
Really insightful - thank you.

By fully academic research, yes, I did mean doing research all the time as there are a minority of doctors who do this. Although as you said, most combine clinical with academia.

If you would like to do research into a specific medical speciality, let's say psychiatry, would a biomedical route enable this to happen?

I am conflicted by my career choices. My desire to do medicine is largely science based, in that I seek to understand the science behind medicine, and then apply the knowledge within a clinical context to treat patients. I also want to reach far in research, and so perhaps wonder whether medicine may prevent me from doing this.
Academic research is a broad term. The below are far from comprehensive.

Take psychiatry - research areas include: - drug design and modelling, animal testing, clinical trials, diagnostics, psychological research and therapies, imaging, NHS policy-making, sociological aspects. A whole host of degrees set you up for doing different aspects of that - medicine is one of the broader ones but its much more competitive, longer, less focused, less relevant, more expensive.

Degrees such as biomedical science, pharmacology, psychology/experimental psychology, biochemistry, chemistry are all also broadly relevant and will allow you into multiple aspects of that list above. A good degree from a top uni with a couple publications (easily possible following say a Chemistry masters, or even a biomed 3 year course) will set you up very well - much better than 5 year medicine courses.

If you do end up going for medicine because you value patient contact/you specifically want to focus on the very clinical aspects, ensure you do an intercalated BSc.
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Captain127
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It depends on your goals. You could treat patients, be a surgeon, and maybe later on in life you decide to leave that aspect and focus on research and teaching. But if your purely interested in just research then its best just to do a degree in that area, do a MSc then a PHD.
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