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BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0409332
  1. Brian Angus, clinical tutor1,
  2. Simon Eccles, chair2,
  3. Annie Hastie, director of postgraduate general practice education3,
  4. Simon Eccles, chair4,
  5. Philip Crockett, specialist registrar in psychotherapy and general adult psychiatry1,
  6. Alison Bigrigg, consultant in sexual and reproductive health6
  1. 1University of Oxford
  2. 2BMA Junior Doctors Committee
  3. 3London Deanery
  4. 4BMA Junior Doctors Committee
  5. 5Grampian Primary Care
  6. 6Glasgow

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I am a third year medical student. A tutor has offered me a doctorate studentship. Should I do the doctorate now or wait until I have finished medical school?

The main consideration should be whether you have a great desire to do the doctorate on offer. If the area really interests and excites you then pursue it now. If you are thinking about doing a doctorate just to get the qualification, then you should wait until you have done a bit more medicine to be able to decide which area you want to study in depth. Also, you will leave your classmates and you will remain as a student (with all of the financial implications) for a few more years. Often if you are a postgraduate you can more easily get funding for a doctorate. One other advantage of doing it now is that …

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