The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Switching Specialties with MD/PhD

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is joined by Dr. Ram Rao, a physician scientist, and Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellow at Stanford University. In this episode, he gives advice on doing MD/PhDs and what to do when switching specialties.

  • [00:44] Introducing Dr. Rao
  • [03:56] Process of Doing MD/PhD
  • [05:40] Advise on Switching Specialties
  • [12:20] Passions Outside of Medicine
  • [14:27] Dr. Rao’s Best Piece of Advice

Doing MD/PhD and Switching Specialties

Dr. Rao realized that it would have been difficult to do research while being in orthopedic surgery. In his current field of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, people tend to do 75% research and 25% clinical. To make the transition of switching specialties, it takes a lot of self-reflection and knowing what makes you happy. The main thing to remembers is to talk to people because there are plenty willing to help and remember that you are not alone.


You can reach out to Dr. Rao through his LinkedIn and Twitter page.

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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