The AAMC just released a new report, National MD-PhD Program Outcomes Study, which highlights results of a comprehensive research project that tracks the careers of most combined degree MD-PhD program graduates over the past 50 years.

In addition to the full report, the AAMC also published an Analysis in Brief (AIB) that highlights a few key results from the study.

Here are some report highlights:

  1. MD-PhD alumni are doing work consistent with their training. Almost 80 percent of MD-PhD survey respondents work in places where they can do research, develop new devices and treatments, and help train the next generation of scientists and clinicians.
  2. Alumni are committed to conducting research. More than 75 percent of survey participants who answered a question about how they spend their work hours do at least some research, and most have research grant support. 
  3. Most MD-PhD program graduates are drawn to academia. Nearly 60 percent of all program alumni appear in the AAMC Faculty Roster as full-time faculty at U.S. medical schools. Other MD-PhDs work in research institutions like the National Institutes of Health, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and private practices.
  4. Projected demand for physician-scientists is outstripping supply. Even though MD-PhD programs are growing, they graduated only 602 people in 2016. This is half the number needed to meet the projected demand for physician-scientists, according to projections from the NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group.
  5. The number of women MD-PhDs has risen dramatically. The percentage of women MD-PhD program graduates increased from a little over 1 percent before 1975 to 35 percent between 2005 and 2014. Still, this lags behind the percentage of women in medical schools, where females comprise almost half the student body. 
  6. Although more work needs to be done, racial and ethnic diversity is increasing. The proportion of black or African-American MD-PhD graduates rose from 3 percent before 2005 to 5 percent between 2005 and 2014, and the proportion of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish graduates rose from 2 percent to 5 percent in the same time period.
  7. Training time is growing. The average time to degree has increased to 8 years, up from 6.2 years several decades ago. In addition, after completing their degrees, many MD-PhDs invest more time in clinical training and other resume-building pursuits, which means alumni in their mid to late 30s are often still awaiting their first professional-level jobs. 
  8. Alumni are satisfied with their education. Given the choice, more than 80 percent of MD-PhD program graduates surveyed say they would definitely or probably repeat their program.

Read more about the report

Download a free pdf of the full report