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Doing PHD remotely
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edtf Offline
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Doing PHD remotely
Hey guys, I got a crazy idea today that I wanted to bounce off you guys. So right now I'm in an MD/PhD program, which means I do 2 years of medical school, then PhD, then go back to finish the last 2 years of medical school.

I'm thinking of choosing a PhD in bioinformatics, which was my specialty during my master's degree. I can do pretty much most of the work remotely, and I was thinking of traveling using stipend money while working remotely. I get 26K a year guaranteed, which will go pretty far in a lot of places.

Just wondering how feasible this sounds, assuming that my mentor agrees with my plan, since he seems pretty chill. I can see infinite possibilities for learning languages and opportunities for game, and international networking, etc.

Has anyone done anything like this before? Any pros or cons to this? I'm 22 years old right now if it matters. My motivation is that I want to keep being productive, but not use up my entire 20's locked up in a lab/clinic
(This post was last modified: 11-19-2014 03:44 AM by edtf.)
11-19-2014 03:43 AM
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Post: #2
RE: Doing PHD remotely
There's been a French guy staying at my guesthouse the past week with his girlfriend, and I always see him on his computer. I went and broke the ice with him, assuming he was a fellow internet entrepreneur. Nope - turns out he was finishing college remotely (don't remember what degree). He seemed happy with it. He gets out and about during the day and chills outside his room in the evening, doing his work and smoking a joint.

Your biggest challenge will be, just as with online businesses, self-discipline and focus. I imagine the French guy finds benefit in having his chick with him - when you're trying to accomplish something like this, I've always found it easier to get it done when you're not out chasing strange all the time.

But with the right approach I see no reason why it's not doable.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
11-19-2014 05:05 AM
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Independent1 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Doing PHD remotely
Basically you need to ask yourself if the distractions will get in the way.

Travelling will open doors to more opportunities to explore new experiences such as activites, people, languages etc. But this could also be a detrimental to your PhD if not managed adequately...

It's about keeping enough passion and focus on your subject. PhD's aren't something you can half ass so yes it's possible but just don't let the distractions take up too much time that it affects your studies.
(This post was last modified: 11-19-2014 05:15 AM by Independent1.)
11-19-2014 05:14 AM
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Post: #4
RE: Doing PHD remotely
A Ph.D. from a respectable school is going to be a major undertaking.

I am currently friends with two guys, who once they got past the classroom component of the Ph.D. had the flexibility to finish up their research from anywhere in the world.
11-19-2014 06:01 AM
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edtf Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Doing PHD remotely
> Suits:
Yeah thats a good point. I'm not sure I have a classroom component for mine, since I'm in a combined medical program, and they want us to get out fast. I need to check up on that.

> Beyond Borders:
Thats an interesting example, thanks for sharing. I think PhD might be different from college though, since there are project deadlines combined with uncertain project results.

I guess I'll just put in a ton of work now, build a good reputation with my mentor, and then when he know's i'm reliable he will be more likely to accept.
11-19-2014 02:19 PM
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Lothario Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Doing PHD remotely
Just Curious edtf, Why are you in an MD/Phd Program , Are you Interested in Academics after you graduate or there is an additional component financially that I am not aware of ?

Also have you decided what discipline of medicine you would be doing your residency in or waiting to go through clinical rotations and then decide ?

"You can not fake good kids" - Mike Pence
11-19-2014 02:42 PM
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The_CEO Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
I don't think there are cons that you wouldn't already know about such as a residency requirement to keep any "funding".
As you are in an MD/PhD program already, I doubt you'd have issues being self-directed, which you'll need to be if you are working remotely. So if that is a factor, take that into account.

I could see why you want a PhD apart from academics. I suspect you'd be well positioned for a "private sector" job like in Pharma aside from medical practice.
11-19-2014 04:56 PM
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edtf Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-19-2014 02:42 PM)Lothario Wrote:  Just Curious edtf, Why are you in an MD/Phd Program , Are you Interested in Academics after you graduate or there is an additional component financially that I am not aware of ?

Also have you decided what discipline of medicine you would be doing your residency in or waiting to go through clinical rotations and then decide ?

Yes, finances did play some role in it. The idea of being in debt 400 grand before I even started working was scary for me. Right now I'm paying 0 tuition as well as getting 26k income per year.

I'm doing a PhD in genetics because it is intellectually interesting to me. The idea of understanding how an organism works from the ground up is fascinating to me. Also, the applications in medicine and other parts of biotechnology are limitless.

To be honest, I want to start a company, and I felt that a free MD was going to give me an in depth knowledge about both the theory and clinical medicine skills, and the title will command better respect and confidence from investors.

I figured since I'm not paying for it, and I'm pretty young compared to my classmates, getting an MD and having a backup plan that pays several hundred thousand was a pretty sweet deal.

As for residencies, I would be a shoe-in in any genetics-related residency given my experience with genome sequencing, but I'm still doing more research to find a good fit.
11-20-2014 01:08 AM
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Lothario Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Doing PHD remotely
All the best to you edtf, Now I can understand why you are doing what you are doing.

Doesn't seem like you are Interested in Clinical side of medicine and to persue your other goals do the shortest residency possible ER, Int.Med, Family Practice, PM & R.

Wish you all the best and don't forget to Game at the Hopitals you will be at.

"You can not fake good kids" - Mike Pence
11-20-2014 09:28 AM
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Post: #10
RE: Doing PHD remotely
Another thing to consider is working on your PhD while traveling or instead choosing one or two destinations and working from there, while taking side trips from that base (like choosing a base in Europe and then taking trips from there).

If you are thinking of a busy itinerary and not "posting up" somewhere to get your work done, a potential downside dealing with where you're going to stay next, reliable internet, unpredictable living environment, etc. which regardless of how disciplined you are would be a distraction.

Do you need access to a physical library with English language books? Do you need good mail service for receiving books? If so, that would impact your destination list.

If your advisor and school is amenable to you doing the degree remotely and overseas, then I don't see any real downside if that's what you want to do. On the other hand, you're a young guy so depending on where you're studying, a college campus is also not such a bad place to live so no one could fault you if you want to stay there for now.

It sounds like you will have many opportunities to live/work/travel overseas throughout your lifetime with your future educational qualifications via fellowships, teaching assignments, speeches, and who knows.

Go with your 'gut' and do what you want to do...
11-20-2014 11:51 AM
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Menace Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Doing PHD remotely
Couldn't do it for mine, but this is a great idea, provided you have discipline and don't get too distracted. You might also want to consider doing it in a country where you could potentially leverage your MD/PhD once you already have the degree.
11-20-2014 12:01 PM
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magellan Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Doing PHD remotely
Sounds awesome. I'm interested in starting a company in biotech (particularly interested in genetics) but don't have the right undergraduate education (finance degree). Really considering trying to pursue a PhD as a way to get up to speed and get paid to do research. I'm interested to see if you'll be allowed to go abroad...
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2014 03:18 PM by magellan.)
11-20-2014 03:13 PM
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edtf Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-20-2014 09:28 AM)Lothario Wrote:  All the best to you edtf, Now I can understand why you are doing what you are doing.

Doesn't seem like you are Interested in Clinical side of medicine and to persue your other goals do the shortest residency possible ER, Int.Med, Family Practice, PM & R.

Wish you all the best and don't forget to Game at the Hopitals you will be at.

Yeah, usually IM is the default pathway for MD/PhD residencies. Its a solid option, but the salary peaks at about 200k or so, so I'm hesitant. But then again its average salary. My old PI was a pediatrician and making $1 mil a year doing gene sequencing on her patients

I've thought about gaming at my hospital, but I'm afraid that one bad blowout could get me in trouble since I'm going there every day. Has this been a problem with you?
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2014 05:13 PM by edtf.)
11-20-2014 05:12 PM
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edtf Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-20-2014 11:51 AM)The_CEO Wrote:  Another thing to consider is working on your PhD while traveling or instead choosing one or two destinations and working from there, while taking side trips from that base (like choosing a base in Europe and then taking trips from there).

If you are thinking of a busy itinerary and not "posting up" somewhere to get your work done, a potential downside dealing with where you're going to stay next, reliable internet, unpredictable living environment, etc. which regardless of how disciplined you are would be a distraction.

Do you need access to a physical library with English language books? Do you need good mail service for receiving books? If so, that would impact your destination list.

If your advisor and school is amenable to you doing the degree remotely and overseas, then I don't see any real downside if that's what you want to do. On the other hand, you're a young guy so depending on where you're studying, a college campus is also not such a bad place to live so no one could fault you if you want to stay there for now.

It sounds like you will have many opportunities to live/work/travel overseas throughout your lifetime with your future educational qualifications via fellowships, teaching assignments, speeches, and who knows.

Go with your 'gut' and do what you want to do...

A home base is a good idea, I was thinking either in China or somewhere in Eastern Europe. I don't need physical books because I can access them all online using my computer.

I think it would be sweet to, as you said, live in a college town, maybe even enroll in some language courses during the day, to land some social circle and get immersed.

Thanks for the advice man
11-20-2014 05:15 PM
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Lothario Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-20-2014 05:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  Yeah, usually IM is the default pathway for MD/PhD residencies. Its a solid option, but the salary peaks at about 200k or so, so I'm hesitant. But then again its average salary. My old PI was a pediatrician and making $1 mil a year doing gene sequencing on her patients

I've thought about gaming at my hospital, but I'm afraid that one bad blowout could get me in trouble since I'm going there every day. Has this been a problem with you?

I would advise you to consider ER as a residency, It's still 3 yrs and you don't have an overhead of a Clinic when you graduate plus you can have a travelling lifestyle and or Work as much or as little as you want. 14 shifts in a month can land you a Salary of $ 350 K plus depending upon the location.

As far as Gaming in the hospitals, I am at a Big Univ Hospital in Medical complex with 4 different hospitals spanning over a mile, I usually go have Lunch 10 min away from my work place and or have Lunch at the UNIV among the students and game Girls at Starbucks.

Blow outs and are in your mind and shouldn't stop you from spitting your game, you can do Social Circle Game Indirectly on Nurses and the other poon you come in contact with or Game the Girls that you have least likely chance of getting in touch with on a daily basis with (Pharmacy students, PT Students, Nursing Students, girls visitng relatives, volunteers, pharm reps, etc etc etc). It's no different then spitting game at radom girls on the street, just that you already have a DHV on these girls with a Stethoscope around your neck, Spit your ramble, get numbers, go out, bang. Rinse and repeat.

I have said this again and again hospitals are full of young poon to be gamed and most of the Male Medical Professionals are nerdy with no game. I know Doctors with just a gram of game that have their bishes on each floor of the hospital. Doctors with game clean the house period.

Happy Hunting ......

"You can not fake good kids" - Mike Pence
(This post was last modified: 11-21-2014 09:31 AM by Lothario.)
11-21-2014 09:29 AM
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-21-2014 09:29 AM)Lothario Wrote:  
(11-20-2014 05:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  Yeah, usually IM is the default pathway for MD/PhD residencies. Its a solid option, but the salary peaks at about 200k or so, so I'm hesitant. But then again its average salary. My old PI was a pediatrician and making $1 mil a year doing gene sequencing on her patients

I've thought about gaming at my hospital, but I'm afraid that one bad blowout could get me in trouble since I'm going there every day. Has this been a problem with you?

I would advise you to consider ER as a residency, It's still 3 yrs and you don't have an overhead of a Clinic when you graduate plus you can have a travelling lifestyle and or Work as much or as little as you want. 14 shifts in a month can land you a Salary of $ 350 K plus depending upon the location.

As far as Gaming in the hospitals, I am at a Big Univ Hospital in Medical complex with 4 different hospitals spanning over a mile, I usually go have Lunch 10 min away from my work place and or have Lunch at the UNIV among the students and game Girls at Starbucks.

Blow outs and are in your mind and shouldn't stop you from spitting your game, you can do Social Circle Game Indirectly on Nurses and the other poon you come in contact with or Game the Girls that you have least likely chance of getting in touch with on a daily basis with (Pharmacy students, PT Students, Nursing Students, girls visitng relatives, volunteers, pharm reps, etc etc etc). It's no different then spitting game at radom girls on the street, just that you already have a DHV on these girls with a Stethoscope around your neck, Spit your ramble, get numbers, go out, bang. Rinse and repeat.

I have said this again and again hospitals are full of young poon to be gamed and most of the Male Medical Professionals are nerdy with no game. I know Doctors with just a gram of game that have their bishes on each floor of the hospital. Doctors with game clean the house period.

Happy Hunting ......

Lothario:
Let's say when you're older and tired of the 14 hour shifts but still want to work - could work PT ER medicine and/or teach at ER med. at a university?
11-21-2014 11:52 AM
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Lothario Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-21-2014 11:52 AM)The_CEO Wrote:  Lothario:
Let's say when you're older and tired of the 14 hour shifts but still want to work - could work PT ER medicine and/or teach at ER med. at a university?

Apologies for side tracking edtf's thread but CEO asked and I will answer.

ER Shifts are 12 hrs, You can get a full time position if you do fourteen shifts of 12 hrs at a hospital. There are plenty of 8 or 12 hr shifts available at ER's if some one doesn't want to go full time.

When Physicians get Older there is plenty they can do, just cut down on the number of shifts, doing 1-2 shifts of 8-12 hr in a week isn't that physically taxing and when someone is 60 I hope they have stacked up enough Cheese to not worry about working full time.

Yes ER Physicians can teach at University hospitals with resident doctors doing the work and you getting paid for it Smile, become administrators at hospitals/ER, Do Chart reviews etc etc.

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(This post was last modified: 11-21-2014 06:52 PM by Lothario.)
11-21-2014 06:50 PM
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Feo Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Doing PHD remotely
The whole point of a (MD/)PhD is to network, go to conferences, and present to your peers. If you go remote then you're missing out on one of the key reasons for even pursuing any professional degree.

All I'm saying is, why half ass it?
11-22-2014 04:44 PM
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edtf Offline
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RE: Doing PHD remotely
(11-22-2014 04:44 PM)Feo Wrote:  The whole point of a (MD/)PhD is to network, go to conferences, and present to your peers. If you go remote then you're missing out on one of the key reasons for even pursuing any professional degree.

All I'm saying is, why half ass it?

Well being international and with stipend, I could travel to any conference or symposium I thought was relevant. All my work can be done computationally, so I wouldn't miss out on producing actual research results. I could see this being a plus.
11-22-2014 07:26 PM
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