Re. postdocs ...

aloisia schmid a-schmi at
Tue Aug 19 17:54:23 EST 1997

In article <33F8CCC9.6EE546F1 at>, Bart Janssen
<bjanssen at> wrote:

> Julia Frugoli wrote:
> > This tells me two things:
> >
> > 1) NIH thinks that <26K is not a reasonable wage, yet they pay that
> > when
> > they can get away with it.
> >
> > 2) NIH considers people with PhDs and publications less valuable than
> > people with MDs who are blurry on how to set up a good experiment.
> >
> > I'm sure I've insulted all the MDs and half of NIH, so I'll go get my
> > asbestos underwear, but I wanted to make the point that if we look at
> > policy, it's not just "society" at large that doesn't value a research
> >
> > PhD-it's NIH itself!
> cynical pithy mode on:
> And the directors of the NIH have which degree MD or PhD???????
> cheers
> Bart

Dear BArt and Julia and others---

     I would have to say from my own, albeit, limited experience that most
of the people at the NIH have MDs.  

     Somewhat tangentially, I'd like to point out that the unfairness of
the NIH in this regard is legendary at ALL levels----if you have an MD at
most institutions, whether or not you practice and generate money for the
university as an MD has no bearing on the fact that in any event you
automatically get a salary that is WAY higher than a PhD's salary to do
the exact same thing.  The rationale, as I recall being told, is that MDs
can go in to private practice nad make a fortune, so they have to be
compensated for their loss in sticking it out in academics.  

      I remember being a lab technician in a medical department and some
of the research that was going on there was incredible.  I hate to be
inviting flames myself, but the fact of the matter is---some of those
people had absolutely no clue as to what they were doing.  And yet, they
had NIH grants and had tenure.  

       PhDs ar etrianed to do research.  MDs can get
research/teaching/clinical appointments at which they have to work less,
are SO FAR LESS competent as researchers, teach very little and
nevertheless get paid $30,000/ year more!  

       So maybe the whole anti-PhD decent living wage salary thing started
in this country's view of the value of an MD and the non-value of a PhD?


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