Medicine — M.D. with Medical Scientist — Ph.D.

The program is designed to attract students who are energized by doing research and who want to contribute substantially to this enterprise.

Students enter this combined degrees program through the Integrated Biomedical Graduate Studies (IGBS) graduate programs (anatomy; cancer, developmental and regenerative biology; infection, immunity, and inflammation; or neuroscience, systems biology, and bioengineering). In the first year, students participate in a scientifically integrated program that includes biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, and anatomy. While in the first year, students also rotate through the laboratories of selected faculty members.

In the second year, students increase their involvement in individual laboratory projects while continuing to complete graduate course requirements. Students in selected areas may also be asked to serve as teaching assistants for graduate or medical classes. Students pursuing the combined degrees may also be involved with joint basic science and clinical meetings and conferences with the aim of understanding the interrelationships between laboratory-based and clinical research.

Upon demonstration of laboratory success, as indicated by completion of a first-author manuscript, the student will continue on to the traditional first two years of the medical school curriculum. It is anticipated that the amount of time required to demonstrate laboratory success will be two-to-three years. Successful students who have acquired essential laboratory skills should continue their affiliation with the host laboratory and continue research progress as time permits while in the medical school curriculum.

Upon successful completion of the first two years of the medical curriculum and Step 1 of the USMLE, students will begin a series of rotations between the clinical sciences and the research laboratory. During these later years, students will complete all the standard clinical rotations and continue progress on laboratory projects. This program intends that students will acquire the requisite skills needed for a successful career at the interface of laboratory-based and clinical research.

Program admission

Admission into the Medical Scientist Program is competitive and requires evidence that the student is likely to develop into a successful medical scientist. The student must submit separate applications to the School of Medicine for both the M.D. and the Ph.D. degree programs, and meet the stated admissions requirements for each of these programs. The application package for the Ph.D. degree program requires scores for the general test of the Graduate Record Examination. Both programs must accept a student before he or she  is admitted to the Medical Scientist Program. Students entering the M.D./Ph.D. combined degrees program who determine that a research career is inappropriate may elect to complete the M.D. degree program independently. Students entering the Ph.D. degree program who desire a career in academic medicine may choose to apply for admission to the M.D./Ph.D. combined degrees program at a point after their entry into the Ph.D. degree program; however, the standard medical school application process will be required at that point.

For information regarding tuition waivers and scholarships, contact the director of the Medical Scientist Program.