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MD/PhD Program Timeline

Upon matriculation, first-year students are assigned a MD/PHD faculty advisor who will closely follow, guide and monitor their progress throughout their years in the program. Students begin the program by completing a mandatory research rotation prior to the first year of medical school. During the first two years, students complete the integrated UMass Chan Medical School curriculum with emphasis on problem solving and small group learning. In addition, students enroll in an MD/PhD course, Developing Solutions to Research Problems, which focuses on the basic science of the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences core curriculum. This first-year course facilitates integration between the medical and graduate school curricula and the selection of a thesis lab.

During the summer between the first and second year, students select a rotation laboratory and continue to participate in Developing Solutions to Research Problems. After the second year of medical school, students complete one 12-week unit of the SoM Exploration phase before entering the lab of their selected Thesis Advisor. The Step One Boards are taken between the end of second year and the start of the clerkship.

Each semester in the PhD years, students enroll in a clinical skills course. This course stresses the importance of clinical involvement throughout the graduate years. Additionally, all students in the program meet twice monthly for the MD/PhD Seminar which provides an opportunity to learn about the research of and reconnect with fellow MD/PhD colleagues.

Upon successful completion of all requirements for the PhD degree, the defense and submission of the PhD thesis, students join the third and fourth-year medical program for clinical training. Clinical rotations and electives are tailored to match students’ academic needs and career goals and to fulfill the requirements for the MD degree. Other requirements include an Advanced Biomedical/Translational project and a Senior Capstone course. Students typically complete the program in 7-8 years.

SoM = School of Medicine; GSBS = Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences