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Doctor of Medicine (MD)

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Overview

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree is primarily for Otago medical graduates who have completed published original research in any branch of medical science. The academic standard is equivalent to Doctor of Science (DSc).

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Information for new applicants

The MD is an unsupervised degree based on published original contributions of special excellence in a branch of medical science. It is a higher doctoral degree similar to the Doctor of Science (DSc), Doctor of Dental Science (DDSc) and Doctor of Laws (LLD) degrees. Medical graduates who do not have experience of research and/or who require supervision are advised to consider a supervised degree such as Master of Medical Science (MMedSc) or PhD.

To be eligible to apply for admission to the Otago MD the applicant must be:

  • a medical graduate from the University of Otago, or
  • a medical graduate from another University who has completed a substantial proportion of the work to be presented while working in a department of the University, and
  • have held their medical degree for at least five years.

Applicants are advised to contact the Faculty Manager to confirm their eligibility for admission.

The collection of works to be included in the submission for the degree must consist of material that reports original research contributions by the candidate and is based on the candidate’s own observations, activities, experiments and investigations. The candidate must give evidence that he or she has carried out independent research that makes an original contribution to knowledge. Compilation from the work of others will not be accepted. In this regard, candidates are required to sign a statutory declaration identifying the submitted work as original and their own. Where co-authored work is submitted, those parts which are a candidate’s own work are required to be identified clearly, and the contribution provided by the candidate must be stated specifically.

Similarly to the University’s other higher doctoral degrees (eg: DSc, DDSc and LLD), the work presented for the MD is expected to be of special excellence.

The amount of research work upon which the thesis is based is not fixed but it is expected that there will be several publications on work undertaken over a number of years. For example:

a) 15 to 25 or more publications in peer reviewed journals of significant international standard.

b) on occasion the number of publications may be less than 15 but will still be in international journals of high standing.

c) there may be other bodies of work in addition to publications in significant international journals.

Please note that publications which have been included as part of the requirements for another degree or diploma cannot be submitted again for the MD.

The presentation of the thesis should:

  • have a cohesive theme
  • include an introduction
  • include publications
  • include discussion, with an emphasis on the linking theme(s) to the body of work presented and the contribution to knowledge in the field.

Prior to submitting a collection of works, prospective applicants are required to apply for admission to the degree by submitting the following:

  • their current CV;
  • an abstract and/or brief description of the work, including a list of the published original contributions upon which the application is based indicating the contribution by the applicant; and
  • a statutory declaration identifying the submitted work as original and stating that it has not previously been accepted for another university qualification.

Applications should be submitted to the Director, Graduate Research Services whereupon they will be advised whether a case for the award of the degree exists. Prospective candidates should note that successful admission to the degree (i.e. that candidates may submit their collection of works for examination) does not pre-suppose a favourable result from the examiners.

When approval has been granted for candidates to submit their collection of works, three soft-bound copies are required for examination purposes. When a candidate is ready to submit a thesis he or she should contact the Director, Graduate Research Services.

The process of appointing examiners, receiving their reports, and reaching a recommendation for the award of the degree, will take several months. Every effort is taken to keep this time to a minimum but it is a time consuming process and the sooner it can be started the better.

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Contact Details

Faculty Manager
Faculty of Medicine
PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand
Tel 64 (03) 479 7454
Fax 64 (03) 479 5459
Email medical.faculty@otago.ac.nz

Director Graduate Research
Research Division, University of Otago
P O Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel 64 (03) 479 5655
Fax 64 (03) 479 5650
Email gradresearch@otago.ac.nz

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Subject Area

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Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD)

  1. Eligibility

    1. The degree shall be awarded for published original contributions of special excellence in a branch of medical science.
    2. Every candidate for the degree must either
      1. have held the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of a university in New Zealand or an equivalent medical qualification approved by the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine for at least five years before applying for admission to the degree; or
      2. have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the degree.
    3. A candidate for the degree shall normally be a medical graduate of the University of Otago, or shall have completed a substantial proportion of the work to be presented while working in a department of the University.

  2. Application

    1. A candidate must apply for admission to the degree by submitting the following in the first instance:
      1. a curriculum vitae;
      2. an abstract and/or brief description of the work including a list of the published original contributions upon which the application is based; and
      3. a statutory declaration identifying the submitted work as original and stating that it has not previously been accepted for another university qualification. Where co-authored work is submitted, those parts which are the candidate's own work should be identified, whereupon the University will advise if a case for the award of the degree exists (Note 1).
    2. Every candidate shall submit three soft-bound (Note 2) copies of the work upon which the application is based together with the required entry fee (Note 3).
    3. In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Senate, unpublished work may be submitted.
    4. Additional work, published or unpublished, may be submitted in support of the application.

    Notes:
    1. The application shall be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Research.
    2. Permanently bound copies are acceptable if the work is already in that format.
    3. The three copies of the work together with the entry fee of $2,000 (inclusive of GST) shall be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Research.

  3. Examination

    1. The submitted work shall be assessed by three examiners, appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine through the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), at least one of whom shall be an overseas authority.
    2. Where the examiners cannot agree on a result, they should so report to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine who, through the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), shall nominate a referee to advise the Senate.
    3. Upon the successful completion of the examination process, the candidate shall forward two permanently bound copies of the work to the Dean of  Graduate Research who will arrange for the copies to be placed in the University Library and the appropriate University department or school.

  4. Variations

    Notwithstanding anything in these regulations, the Senate shall have the discretion to vary any provision set down if, in its opinion, special or unusual circumstances warrant such variation.

    Note: The Senate has delegated authority over the MD degree to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).

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