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The MD-PhD Program is customized to train physician-scientists along the spectrum of the MD and PhD curriculum. Medical school courses count toward didactic PhD requirements, students are exempt from the teaching requirement in graduate school, and students can substitute the MD research elective for another area of study. The program generally takes 7–9 years to complete.

Summer before Medical School

Students participate in 2 laboratory rotations and attend a Summer Journal Club prior to their first year of medical school.

Medical School Year 1

The first 2 years of medical school include didactic and clinical curriculum. The first phase (Foundations of Medicine) is 17 weeks long and includes the medical science, medical arts, and clinical skills that students will require before beginning in clinics and Phase 2 units. The second phase focuses on molecules, cells, and cancer, host and defense, and includes a comprehensive knowledge exam covering the first year curriculum.

Summer between Medical School

Students participate in another 2 laboratory rotations. They are also required to attend and present at the Summer Journal Club, which allows students to practice and prepare for their graduate preliminary exam.

Medical School Year 2

Students continue their Phase 2 curriculum and clinical experiences. At the end of the second year, students are required to pass the National Board of Examiner’s USMLE Step 1 exam.

Detailed information about the medical school curriculum is on the MD program website.

PhD Phase  

Students are expected to join a lab by July 1 after their second year of medical school. Students are required to take 9 credits of graduate coursework, which will be determined by their mentor and thesis committee. Preliminary exams must be completed by the end of the first year in the lab. Students must complete their oral defense at least 1 month prior to re-entry into medical school and will take a shortened transition to clerkship course prior to beginning clinical clerkships. Students can engage in clinical shadowing and will meet with clinical faculty during select Student Monthly Meetings.

Medical School Year 3

Students will complete clinical clerkships and take a Topics of Medicine course, which reviews a series of simulated patients with common medical problems seen in ambulatory medicine. Each student must also satisfactorily complete an objective standardized clinical examination (OSCE) administered at the end of the 3rd year prior to being promoted to the 4th year.

Medical School Year 4

Students will complete a sub-internship rotation, critical care clerkship, and 4 weeks of advanced internal medicine. Students have additional time to explore additional clinical interests, research, and seminar-based courses. After students have matched to a residency, they will take an internship capstone course.   

Detailed information about the medical school curriculum is on the MD curriculum website.