Will I be enrolled in the MD or PhD or both?
Although every student’s pathway is unique, while you are enroled in the PhD your MD studies will be suspended and then resumed once you return to clinical studies. Depending on your pathway you may be enrolled in a “holding” subject of the MD to allow you to maintain some clinical contact during your PhD.
When do I commence my PhD?
You can start your PhD anytime after successful completion of the first year of the MD right through to the beginning of the fourth year provided you meet the PhD requirments. The right time for you will depend on many factors which you should discuss with your potential PhD supervisors and members of the MMS Research Training Academy and the Department of Medical Education.
What if I have a PhD partly completed when I’m selected for the MD?
You can take leave from the MD any time after successful completion of the first year to resume and complete your PhD and then return to complete the remaining years of your MD. You may find that after completing the first year of your MD that you may wish to make some modifications to your project to fit your medical career path.
Staying connected with the MD cohort
How will I remain connected to clinical medicine during my PhD?
Many PhD projects allow you to remain connected to clinical medicine while you undertake your research. You will be encouraged to maintain contact with your clinical cohort and engage in some MD clinical opportunities through elective activities. Enrolment in an MD holding subject may be required to undertake these activities so that you remain insured and indemnified.
How will I maintain contact with my MD cohort whilst undertaking a PhD?
It is inevitable that the group with whom you start the MD will continue to move through their course while you are spending time on your PhD studies. However you will remain a member of your clinical school so that you can participate in community, social and appropriate learning activities there. MD-PhD students are invited to attend the MD Student Conference and will be given opportunities to present their research, as well as enjoying educational sessions and social networking. In addition to connections with your MD cohort you will develop close connections with other MD-PhD students who are also members of the MMS Research Training Academy through your shared PhD journey. You will also develop new networks through association with senior clinician researchers.
If I already had a PhD before being selected into the MD is there a pathway for me to stay engaged with postdoctoral work while I study the MD?
Yes, you are able to undertake postdoctoral research in your chosen area during the MD. Through the MMS Research Training Academy you will have mentors nominated to assist both in the development of a postdoctoral pathway and to guide you during this.
Research Training Academy (RTA)
What is the Melbourne Medical School Research Training Academy (RTA)?
The RTA is a virtual Academy for MD joint degree students. As a member you will be introduced to like-minded peers and mentors, and have the opportunity to be involved in educational events and research workshops. These will be hybrid events with as much face to face contact as possible. You will remain part of the Academy throughout your PhD candidature and then be invited to become part of the alumni community.
How do I join the RTA and who is part of the RTA?
Entry to the Academy as a Member will be offered to you as you commence your PhD or other degree at UoM. You’ll earn Alumnus status when you complete both courses, and you will be encouraged to remain part of the RTA and provide guidance and advice to other members as junior supervisors and mentors. Senior leadership within the Academy is provided by the MACH-Track fellows, who are completing PhDs as part of their vocational training after completing their MD, and senior Fellows, who are carefully selected senior academic clinicians and researchers who will actively mentor, supervise and inspire their junior colleagues.
Support and help
What support will I be given as I approach the final stages of my PhD?
Preparing for completion is a critical time for all PhD students and support from the RTA will be maximised. With guidance from your PhD supervisory team, you will be assisted to submit your thesis, plan for publication of papers, and to prepare for re-entry to the MD with a re-introduction to clinical learning. The intent is to facilitate timely and successful PhD completion for all candidates, as well as a confident, assured return to the MD.
How can I continue to develop my research career once I have completed my MD and PhD studies?
Having your medical degree and research doctorate (in addition to your prior degree/s) under your belt prepares you well for the next phase of your career. Your PhD supervisory team will guide you on decisions around starting your post-doctoral career, supported by mentors within the RTA. As an Alumnus of the Melbourne Medical School RTA, you remain connected to clinical colleagues in the MACH-Track clinician-scientist pathway who are undertaking postdoctoral research alongside their vocational medical specialist training which will further expand your professional networks.