Sunday, December 16, 2012

Which kind of doctor is the hardest to earn?

In the academic world there is often the question of which is harder-becoming a doctor of healthcare, or a Ph.D. Now, I don't have a Ph.D., but I did do a year of graduate work in ecology for a Master's degree-which was exactly the same kind of year my equals in the ecology Ph.D. program had. They had more years than I did, and their projects needed to be more unique and impactful. But I had a taste of that life, I spent my days with those people.

This weekend I graduated with my D.C., an education comparable in every way to that of an M.D. So being a (yet unlicensed) doctor myself, I definitely understand what that is like.

Here is the verdict as I see it. The Ph.D. wins. Both programs involved a lot of learning and some late night and weekend sacrifice, they are equal in that regard. However, a Ph.D. involves that element of originality and the need for your research to be of some impact to your field. If you can't bring that to the table--too bad.

As a doctor of healthcare, it's pretty much a step up from undergrad in the beginning, you have more classes, and none are cute gen eds like pottery and literature. They are all science of some sort. Later on you need to treat patients under supervision. There are certain requirements; but treat 265 patients, get observed treating so many of them, write so many reports on them, and manage so many "complex" cases, pass a few more tests...and you're guaranteed to graduate. You can do it just the same as everyone else, and you don't need to teach your superiors in the field anything.

Introverts may be better suited for Ph.D.-ship because you spend a lot of time alone with that research...with any healthcare field you spend a lot of time with humans. So that fact alone may be swaying my opinion as an outgoing person.

Even though the Ph.D.'s may have the more difficult degree, I don't want to trade ANY of you out there. I love treating patients, getting my hands on people's pain and fixing it is pretty great. That's something I didn't get from the diatoms, no matter how pretty or important they may be.

We all have a great place in this world, so go to work to day and make this world a better place whether you're a doctor or not.