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A Common Field of Knowledge

Posted on July 25, 2008

Ph.D.'s and M.D.'s who work in bipolar disorder share a common language, believes Flavio Kapczinski (bio).

 

I don't think that to work successfully in research you need to have both M.D., Ph.D. training.

Actually if you have an M.D. and you have a good research environment, that's enough. And the other way is also true. For instance if you are a Ph.D. and they want to work in the field of bipolar disorder, no problem. It's just a matter of taking your field of expertise, but also dealing with clinicians and patients and get to know what is the disorder, what is the real problem of the patient.

That's the advice I give. I work a lot with Ph.D.'s, people that come from the field of pharmacy and biology, and I take them to see the patients. And they actually enjoy that a lot. And I take them to the clinical rounds as well, and I say to them that when they have to talk about bipolar disorder, they don't need to call an M.D., they themselves can give the lecture.

And I think that doesn't mean that they will turn into a psychiatrist, but it means that they have this common language in the field of bipolar disorder, which is not from the medicine, it's not from biology, but is a field of knowledge.

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Excerpted from an interview with researcher at the 2008 Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.

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