Cynthia Wang, a 2019 MD/MPHS student, grew up fascinated by the human body. From as early as she can remember, she wanted to be a physician, and help improve people’s lives. As a compassionate person, she knew she wanted to work with others, and offer help in times of need. Moving into her fourth year in medical school, Cynthia plans to apply for residency in dermatology with a heightened knowledge and capacity as a physician-researcher.
With a dual medical degree and Master of Population Health Sciences (MD/MPHS degree) from Washington University School of Medicine, Cynthia began her medical school experience knowing she was interested in a pursuing a research year. She envisions herself in an academic setting where she is able to teach and conduct research, as well as follow her passion to treat and serve patients. Adding the MPHS degree to her medical degree allows Cynthia the opportunity to grow her research skills, and boost her residency application through numerous publications. Some of the MPHS program’s skills, like learning SAS software and being proficient at statistics tests, writing grant proposals, and analyzing research methodologies, in addition to her forthcoming publications, are all assets she is able to discuss during her residency interviews, and she credits the MPHS program with broadening her physician-researcher abilities.
“The MPHS program attracted me because I wanted to get formalized training in statistics and research methodology in order to gain the skills to be an independent researcher in my future career,” said Wang. “I would highly recommend doing the MPHS alongside a research year, as formalized training in research methodology is not incredibly common in physicians. Even though I still have much to learn, I already feel like my knowledge of research methodology and statistics probably exceeds many residents, simply because most residents have not gotten any formalized research training at all.”