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Student Perspectives

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​MSTP CurriculumBrianlecture.jpg

 Structure of the Medical Scientist Training Program

  • MD Phase I, 16 Months
  • MD Phase II, Part 1, 4 Months
  • Thesis Phase, 36+ Months
  • MD Phase II, Part 2, 8 Months
  • MD Phase III, 10 Months
  • Average time to completion 7 or 8 years

Year 1/2 Curriculum

July Summer Research Rotation (Optional)

August Summer Research Rotation (Required)

MSTP Thread

Gateway Phase-1

Phase One begins with a 1-week orientation/transitional period called Gateway to the Curriculum. Phase One continues with seven Foundational Science Modules of various length (46 weeks total) incorporating the basic sciences (e.g., anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, etc.), clinical skills, and Physicians, Patients, and Systems and Society content (including professional identity formation, community engagement, social, behavioral, and health systems content).  Modules will center on the functions (primary physiological organization) and forms (secondary anatomical organization) of the human body in an integrated fashion, including the basic and clinical sciences and the impact of the social and health systems sciences. Each module will have a similar large-scale structure to facilitate consistency and familiarity.

USMLE Step 1 Exam:

Up to eight weeks of credit-bearing study/preparation time may be used for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 exams.

Additional Research Rotations as Needed​

Year 3 PhD Curriculum

Fall/Spring Graduate School:

• Core Graduate Curriculum and Electives (individualized according to background, PhD program and research interests of student)
• Thesis Research
• Graduate Course Electives
• Mentored Teaching Experience
• Qualifying Examination

Years 4/5 PhD Training

Graduate School:
• Thesis proposal by Dec. 31 of Year 4
• Thesis Research
• Graduate Course Electives, including Research Ethics
• Clinical Mentorships (Optional)
• Travel to Scientific Meetings
• Thesis Defense
• Clinical Warm-up

MSTP Ungraduation Party (End of fourth year)
Participate in APSA/ASCI/AAP Meeting

Year 6 Clinical Training

Gateway Phase-2

Phase Two consists of six 8-week core clinical clerkships where students rotate through internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, OB/GYN, neurology and psychiatry. The components of the core include preparation, clinical immersion and consolidation. In preparation, each clerkship begins with 1-3 weeks of specialty-specific foundational science, consisting of purposeful reiteration and expansion of prior material (helical learning) and new material.  This material will be taught in a “signs and symptoms” framework to facilitate core knowledge transfer to clinical reasoning.  During clinical immersion, the student joins the patient care teams with more engagement in advanced clinical work than Phase One. Finally, during consolidation each clerkship ends with a one week period for revisiting concepts, filling in knowledge gaps, and including assessments, reflection, coaching and community (ARCC).

Year 7 Specialized Clinical Training

Gateway Phase-3

During Phase Three, schedules and activities are tailored to individual passions and career aspirations. All students are required to complete a 4-week Internal Medicine Subinternship. Additionally, students are required to complete three 4-week Advanced Clinical Rotations (ACR) which are subinternship-like experiences in areas selected by the students and two 4-week Keystone Integrated Science Courses (KISC). KISCs provide deep explorations into the science of a broad array of topics (basic, clinical, social and health systems science), will be transdisciplinary and will take students from cell to society around an important or emerging area. MSTP students take a minimum of two 4-week clinical electives. Finally, students are required to complete a 4-week Gateway to Residency (a.k.a. Capstone) Course early in their graduation year.

USMLE Step 2 Exams: Up to eight weeks of credit-bearing study/preparation time may be used for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 exams.​

All Years

All Years:
MSTP Retreat (Spring)
• Journal Clubs according to student interest
DBBS Seminars
MSTP Weekly Meeting
MSTP Winter Dinner
• MSTP Summer Social
Yearly Class Function

Research Rotations

• July Summer Research Rotation (Optional)

• August Summer Research Rotation (Required)

• May of 1st year Research Rotation (Required)

MSTP students must complete two research rotations. However, some students will do three or, in a few instances, may petition to do four rotations.