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February 11, 2009

Career Intentions of MD/PhD Program Graduates—Reply

JAMA. 2009;301(6):597-598. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.75

In Reply: Mr Miller extracts an important datum from the study by Andriole et al1 and discusses that datum in a way that makes it relevant to my Editorial. He points out that only 71.5% of students who enrolled in MD/PhD programs at matriculation graduated with both degrees.1 He goes on to speculate that one reason for this sizable attrition may be that dual-degree programs prepare students for T1 research, as defined by Woolf,2 whereas many students are more interested in T2 research and drop out of MD/PhD programs because T2-related PhD programs are not offered. He then suggests that attrition might decrease if a broader menu of PhD programs was offered—a menu that would include such fields as epidemiology, computer science, economics, and such other disciplines that are or will be required to translate evidence-based medicine into clinical practice.

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