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 graduate-level Core courses during their first year of their MD/PhD phase. They participate in a special Biomedical Sciences (BMS) for MD/PhD core designed to build upon some themes presented in the medical school curriculum and teaching them at a graduate school level. First year MD/PhD students also begin other portions of their Graduate Program: Laboratory Rotations and Problem Solving in Biomedical Sciences (PSBS) during the summer. Students are required to participate in the Medical Scientist Grand Rounds (MSGR), in which a research presentation by a senior student is supplemented with a related clinical case presentation and a panel discussion of the research and clinical case. MD/PhD students take most other elements of the initial Medical School curriculum and thus forge bonds with their MD program classmates. The Laboratory Rotations (summers before MD1 and MD2, typically 2 or 3 rotations) help guide MD/PhD students toward an optimal choice of dissertation advisor and MTA. The minimum rotation period is five weeks of full-time work. 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 Pass/Fail as a 4-credit component of the Graduate School course. Students are expected to present each of their rotation experiences 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.