for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Alumni Video: PhD? MD? Or both?
Featuring Scott Pomeroy (Miami 1975), MD, PhD
Neurologist-in-Chief and Chair of Neurology, Boston's Children Hospital
Bronson Crothers Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
(In this video Dr. Pomeroy talks about how he was able to resolve the difficult decision between graduate and medical school — by earning both the PhD and MD degrees.)
"Well, when I left Miami, I had gained such an interest in science that I wasn't really sure if I wanted to go to graduate school or medical school. So, I took a year off. Also, I was broke, so I had to earn a little bit of money and get some more and fill up the savings account again so I could go back to school. And I worked in a neurobiology lab that year in synaptic physiology. So, I had the science thread still in my system, and I wanted to continue that.
"I finally decided to enter medical school in Cincinnati, but kept going back to the lab. So I did a summer research fellowship, and we very successfully wrote a paper on that work, and I decided from that that I would take a leave of absence and go back to graduate school and get a PhD.
"There was no MD-PhD program at the time. So I brokered a deal with the dean to allow some of my medical school courses to apply to the requirements of the PhD. And the model that we worked out ended up being the model of their MD-PhD program. I then got on a committee where we actually put together an MD-PhD program, which continues to this day.
"So, it was kind of a natural extension of the work that I did here. I had an interest in medicine. I came into this school — into Miami — with an interest in medicine, but I got really turned on to science. And then, going to the University of Cincinnati and working there really brought that together even more, where I could be trained to do top-notch science and, at the same time, apply it to medical problems. And that really became the nature of my career going forth from there."