The mission of Washington University’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is to prepare individuals for careers as physician-scientists, engaged in biomedical research that creates new knowledge for the betterment of society.

Drawing on the combined resources of Washington UniversityBarnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the MSTP combines outstanding medical training with rigorous PhD studies in biomedical research. Graduates of our integrated program are not physicians and scientists, but physician-scientists who approach clinical and research problems in unique and innovative ways.

We have the largest MD/PhD program in the nation but take an individualized approach to training. Our students are motivated adult learners who tailor training according to their goals. The MSTP provides guidance, oversight and support but expects students to take responsibility for their education. Freed from the constraints of excessive course and program requirements, we encourage students to dream large and explore the frontiers of knowledge.

Because the complex nature of modern science and medicine requires team-based approaches to solving problems, we emphasize collaboration and community. Weekly MSTP events allow students to learn from each other and to build personal and professional relationships that will last a lifetime.


Since it was established in 1969, Washington University’s MSTP has trained and graduated more than 700 physician-scientists. More than 80% of program graduates engage in academic medicine, hold positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or work in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry.

The NIH has funded the MSTP since 1970, and we currently hold the largest predoctoral training grant in the country. This is evidence of the great esteem the NIH holds for the excellence of our training program. The MSTP is also supported by an endowment established by the Olin Foundation in 1986.

The MSTP was founded by P. Roy Vagelos, MD, and has had a succession of outstanding leaders, most of whom were physician-scientists. The current director, Wayne Yokoyama, MD, is a practicing rheumatologist and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.