The goal of the MD/PhD program is to train medical students to become physician-scientists. To prepare students for careers in academic medicine, the program will provide them with a broad understanding of contemporary medical knowledge and the ability to productively investigate issues related to human disease.
The MD/PhD is a seven-year program consisting of the first three years of medical school (M1-M3), three years of graduate study (G1-G3) and a final year of medicine (M4). To closely align clinical and research interests, students typically select an area for graduate study during their M3 year and maintain association with their clinical interests through interaction with clinical faculty mentors during their G1-G3 years.Acceptance into the MD/PhD program at UMMC requires prior admission into medical school. Moreover, in addition to completion of all medical school application materials, the applicant must also submit their GRE scores and a written personal statement indicating the reasons for choosing the MD/PhD program (see options on the School of Medicine's secondary application).
Since the purpose of the MD/PhD program is to train clinical researchers, each applicant should list under "Experiences" in his/her American Medical College Application Service application all relevant research experience and research presentations and provide at least one letter of recommendation from an individual capable of evaluating the applicant's research potential. All application materials should be sent to the Associate Dean for Medical School admissions. MD/PhD applicants who are invited to interview with the Medical School Admissions Committee will also meet with one or more members of the Graduate School's MD/PhD Admissions Committee. Prior to the interview with the Graduate School, the student must complete the Graduate School application for the PhD in physiology program.
The MD/PhD program is a 3/3/1 pathway (3 years medical school, 3 years graduate school and the last year in medical school). During the M1 or M2 year, students may take the Graduate School's "Responsible Conduct of Research" course (ID709). If the student's research interests involve the use of vertebrate animals, MD/PhD students may also take "An Introduction to Animal Research" (ID704). In addition, courses taken for graduate credit during the M1 and M2 years may have additional departmental requirements. After identification of a specific department in which to pursue a PhD degree and with the program director's recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School, an MD/PhD student will receive graduate credit for relevant courses taken during the M1/M2 years. Prior to choosing a department in which to major, MD/PhD students will be required to attend specific departmental seminars in research areas of interest. When a major department has been identified, not later than April 1 of their M3 year, the MD/PhD student will select an advisor and begin to fulfill specific requirements of that PhD program. Years G1 through G3 are devoted to research, writing and fulfilling all program requirements for the PhD. It is anticipated that some candidates may wish to continue research during their M4 year, which would be permitted,even encouraged.