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Neuroscience then GEM?? how does research work??

Hello, i don't mean to sound like an idiot but I am confused on how postgraduate research works. Is it possible (or advisable) to do research in clinical neuroscience or psychology with a medicine degree? how would this fit in with a medicine degree/career progression? I am really interested in the brain and want to do research on mental and neurodegenerative illnesses, i was considering pursuing neuroscience but i do also want to become a doctor. Is there any degree path where i could do both? i was thinking about doing GEM with a neuroscience BSc but i don't know how incorporating doing research into this would be or wether it would be advisable to do so.

Thanks
Original post by kebab06
Hello, i don't mean to sound like an idiot but I am confused on how postgraduate research works. Is it possible (or advisable) to do research in clinical neuroscience or psychology with a medicine degree? how would this fit in with a medicine degree/career progression? I am really interested in the brain and want to do research on mental and neurodegenerative illnesses, i was considering pursuing neuroscience but i do also want to become a doctor. Is there any degree path where i could do both? i was thinking about doing GEM with a neuroscience BSc but i don't know how incorporating doing research into this would be or wether it would be advisable to do so.

Thanks

You don't need a medical degree to do a PhD in neuroscience or psychology. That said, having a medical degree would probably be suitable background for PhD projects that are neurobiology based. Psychology and things more in the cognitive neuroscience vein might depend on the particular project in question.

Medics do undertake research degrees, sometimes for professional purposes (some specialties I gather are very research focused e.g. medical oncology, and others it's practically necessary to be competitive for limited consultant posts e.g. neurosurgery). Often this is done in the course of specialty training.

I would not recommend aiming for GEM if you are not yet on a degree. It is considerably more competitive than standard entry medicine, costs more as you need to pay ~£3000 out of pocket for the first year tuition fees, and takes longer to qualify as a doctor. Also doing a neuroscience degree then medical degree through GEM confers no benefit when applying to PhD programmes than just doing a standard entry medicine degree and intercalating in neuroscience, or doing a neuroscience masters after your medical degree.

So if you want to become a medical doctor, that is the first thing to focus on - getting into standard entry medicine now, rather than some convoluted route to GEM. It's easier and cheaper to take a gap year and retake A-levels if needed as well, than to try and aim for GEM at the outset.

Once you get the medical degree then you can figure out the research stuff. There are research focused routes in medical training as well - the specialised foundation programme, formerly academic foundation programme, has academic tracks, and there are academic clinical fellowship posts in specialty training where you have protected academic time, which I gather is typically used to undertake research in preparation for a PhD. After you get your PhD there are academic clinical lectureships where you combine the latter stages of training with working as an academic, doing research and teaching undergraduates.
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
You don't need a medical degree to do a PhD in neuroscience or psychology. That said, having a medical degree would probably be suitable background for PhD projects that are neurobiology based. Psychology and things more in the cognitive neuroscience vein might depend on the particular project in question.

Medics do undertake research degrees, sometimes for professional purposes (some specialties I gather are very research focused e.g. medical oncology, and others it's practically necessary to be competitive for limited consultant posts e.g. neurosurgery). Often this is done in the course of specialty training.

I would not recommend aiming for GEM if you are not yet on a degree. It is considerably more competitive than standard entry medicine, costs more as you need to pay ~£3000 out of pocket for the first year tuition fees, and takes longer to qualify as a doctor. Also doing a neuroscience degree then medical degree through GEM confers no benefit when applying to PhD programmes than just doing a standard entry medicine degree and intercalating in neuroscience, or doing a neuroscience masters after your medical degree.

So if you want to become a medical doctor, that is the first thing to focus on - getting into standard entry medicine now, rather than some convoluted route to GEM. It's easier and cheaper to take a gap year and retake A-levels if needed as well, than to try and aim for GEM at the outset.

Once you get the medical degree then you can figure out the research stuff. There are research focused routes in medical training as well - the specialised foundation programme, formerly academic foundation programme, has academic tracks, and there are academic clinical fellowship posts in specialty training where you have protected academic time, which I gather is typically used to undertake research in preparation for a PhD. After you get your PhD there are academic clinical lectureships where you combine the latter stages of training with working as an academic, doing research and teaching undergraduates.


Thanks for the advice. I have time to decide what it is exactly what i want to do since i am doing an access course post A-levels anyways. That said i will probably study medicine at undergrad instead of gem now knowing i can still do a neuroscience related PhD. How/when would a PhD fit in to a medical degree?

Also, mostly unrelated, which out of the two would be more advisable: Medicine access course or studying 2 science a-levels fast track?
(edited 9 months ago)
Original post by kebab06
Thanks for the advice. I have time to decide what it is exactly what i want to do since i am doing an access course post A-levels anyways. That said i will probably study medicine at undergrad instead of gem now knowing i can still do a neuroscience related PhD. How/when would a PhD fit in to a medical degree?


You don't do the PhD during the medical degree normally (a couple of unis do have MBPhD schemes, both formal and informal though, where you "intercalate" the PhD). I gather it's more typical to do after you complete the medical degree and begin your training - either in parallel while working less than full time or in an academic track with protected time for research, or as an out of programme period.

Note that you need to complete at least the first year of the foundation programme within a certain time period after finishing your medical degree in order to become fully registered/licensed by the GMC, hence it seems more typical to do it once in a specialty training programme rather than immediately after or during your foundation programme (if that would even be possible).
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
You don't do the PhD during the medical degree normally (a couple of unis do have MBPhD schemes, both formal and informal though, where you "intercalate" the PhD). I gather it's more typical to do after you complete the medical degree and begin your training - either in parallel while working less than full time or in an academic track with protected time for research, or as an out of programme period.

Note that you need to complete at least the first year of the foundation programme within a certain time period after finishing your medical degree in order to become fully registered/licensed by the GMC, hence it seems more typical to do it once in a specialty training programme rather than immediately after or during your foundation programme (if that would even be possible).


I see, cheers

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