When a person graduates with a PhD or an MD, they are considered more qualified than someone with a doctorate degree from a less prestigious institution. The general public is generally more impressed by an MD and the prestige that comes with it. However, not everyone knows as much about these two doctorate degrees. A PhD from a prestigious university and one completed under a noted researcher will carry more prestige than an MD.
The difference between a PhD and an MD is largely based on the applicant’s path. In some areas, MD programs are better suited to the needs of physicians than PhDs. If you’re considering an MD/PhD program, it’s best to apply when you’re in your junior year of college. The latter, on the other hand, requires extensive research and a track record of academic success. Unfortunately, not everyone finds out about these programs in time and can build a strong academic record in advance of applying.
A PhD is a doctorate in science, and an MD is a professional degree. You earn an MD after completing all the necessary coursework, but there is no research involved. Instead, you’ll take exit exams like in most graduate school courses. However, the PhD is the more academic qualification in the US education system, and thus holds more prestige in academic settings. In fact, a PhD in nursing will not place you above an MD in medicine.