The MD/PhD Program is designed for students interested in careers in medical research and academic medicine.
Students entering into the dual degree program take advantage of the flexibility in the School’s curricular structure to complete the graduate school’s Core courses during their first year of their MD/PhD phase. They partially substitute this work for a block of the Medical School curriculum. First year MD/PhD students also begin other portions of their Graduate Program — Laboratory Rotations during the summers and Introduction to Journal Club. Students are required to participate in the Medical Scientist Research Seminars (MSRS), which is a special seminar series that gives MD/PhD students the opportunity to hear presentations by other MD/PhD students as well as new faculty. MD/PhD students take most other elements of the initial Medical School curriculum and thus forge bonds with both the entering PhD and MD classes. The Laboratory Rotation helps guide MD/PhD students towards an optimal choice of dissertation advisor and MTA. The minimum rotation period is five weeks of full-time work and students are expected to formulate a decision on their choice of a dissertation advisor by the end of the summer between the first and second year in the program. The rotation work is graded as a 4-credit component of the Graduate School course. Students are expected to present each of their rotation experience to their MD/PhD peers and MTA directors at the end of summer. For those rotations, MD/PhD students should utilize the standard Rotation Agreement and Evaluation forms.
The PhD work is usually completed during the three to four years after the initial two years of the Medical School and Graduate School coursework. The student will complete the final clinical training component of the Medical School curriculum after the doctoral dissertation has been successfully completed. During the PhD phase, students will build upon the pathophysiologic and clinical diagnosis material already mastered through continued clinical exposures.