We are fond of our physician friends and mentors. I am a better clinician today because of physician guidance and mentorship. We don’t want to be compared to physicians but the comparison is inevitable.
Now more than ever, as PAs become Doctors of Medical Science, patients want to know: How does a DMSc compare to an MD? We’ve already looked at how when comparing PA vs MD, comparing years of training isn’t what it seems to be.
We see ourselves as teammates. And while our roles often overlap, DMSs don’t replace MDs. We looked at Duke’s programs to better understand how a Doctor of Medical Science vs MD comparison might go.
Doctor of Medical Science vs MD: Behind the Scenes
We took this data straight from Duke’s website. We also referenced the North Carolina Medical Board.
Sure, there’s a lot of information that isn’t shown here but this is a factually accurate example of the listed requirements for the PA and MD programs at one major US university. It’s a superficial comparison that could be interpreted in multiple ways…
But that’s kind of the point.
PAs often feel like their contributions are undervalued if not completely overlooked. Our training and experience are diminished and too often portrayed in a negative light.
This comparison is an example of how bias works both ways. Most medical schools have prerequisites and most require the MCAT–but not all. Most physicians specialize, but not all. Yet you never hear about that.
We’re not suggesting DMS PAs are superior to physicians. Physician training is the gold standard. But our mission is to celebrate the improvement and advancement of the Physician Associate.
Sometimes being a PA feels like being an undesirable endangered species. We are just trying to stay relevant–we just want to survive.