It used to be that medical students would seek out their MD and be off to practice. However, now students are seeking multiple degrees so that they can be multifaceted when it comes to taking care of patients. American Medical News recently looked at this trend.
Many medical schools across the country offer the ability to get a dual degree. Students could couple their medical training with degrees in Public Health, Journalism, Law, or other areas. Though this idea isn't new, the recent push in popularity may have something to do with the changing medical marketplace. Students are now, more than ever, tasked with being a more well-rounded physician in a competitive market.
“Our reason for providing dual-degree programs stems from the
realization that the standard medical school curriculum will not
adequately prepare all students for medicine as it will be practiced
over the next 30 years. There
will be sweeping changes in delivery of medical care, medical care
policy, and the relationship between the medical care establishment and
government.” ~ Joseph P. Grande, MD, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (Mayo Medical School)
By seeking dual degrees, students have the opportunity to approach medical topics from different perspectives, which gives the future physician insight that they might not have otherwise. Students seeking dual degrees must invest more time and money than their single degree counterparts, but in the end it will increase the positive returns they have on their investment. Overall, this will provide a better outcome for patients as well, since their physician will be more well-rounded and able to utilize multiple skill sets in treating them. Students should keep in mind their future goals when approaching training. Will one degree be enough?