109 MD-PhD Programs

Report
Everything you wanted to know
about MD-PhD Programs but
were afraid to ask
Dartmouth College
May 14, 2012
Jim Gorham, MD PhD
Director, The MD-PhD Program at the Geisel
School of Medicine at Dartmouth
[email protected]
603-650-8373
1. Physician-Scientist
Career Paths
2. Preparing your
application to MD-PhD
Programs
3. Evaluating MD-PhD
Programs
Part 1: PhysicianScientist Career
Paths
MD versus PhD versus MD-PhD
MD Course of Training
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•
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Preclinical Phase
Clinical Phase
Graduation
Post-Graduate Internships/Residencies
Fellowships (Specialize)
PhD Course of Training
• First Year
• Graduate Coursework
• Lab Rotations, Choose Thesis Lab
• Second Year
• Complete Graduate Coursework
• Qualifying Examination
• Years 2-5
• Full-Time Bench Research
• Thesis Committee Meetings
• Teaching Assistantships
• Write Papers and Thesis
• Thesis Defense
MD-PhD Training
WHAT IS THE MD-PhD OPTION?
Mission:
Provide integrated education and training of
individuals to become physician-scientists
prepared to bridge the gap between
laboratory research and clinical medicine.
RESEARCH:
TEACHING:
CLINICAL MEDICINE:
•Basic Research
•Basic Science
•Generalist
•Disease-Oriented Research •Clinical Disciplines >Specialist
•Patient-Oriented Research
•Population-Oriented Research
Pathways to become a Physician-Scientist or Clinical Investigator
PhysicianScientist
MD-PhD
College
Student
MD
PhD
Clinical
Research
MD-PhD Training
What is special about MD-PhD education and training?
MD-PhD vs MD: Structured research training
MD-PhD vs PhD: Understanding of human biology
(how normal and abnormal function result from complex
interactions at many levels of specialization)
MD-PhD Training
Differing perceptions of MD-PhD training
and training outcomes
Clinicians’ perception of MD-PhD students?
They all become basic scientists…
Basic scientists’ perception of MD-PhD students?
They all become clinicians…
Conclusion?
We must be doing something right…
MD-PhD Training
RESEARCH
Student MD-PhD Training
Basic
Translational
Clinical
Epidemiological
Industrial R&D
CLINICAL MEDICINE
ADMINISTRATION
Academic
Industry
Public Policy
MD-PhD Training
ADVANTAGES:
Broad education in human biology
Broad range of career choices
DISADVANTAGES:
Very long education and training
Difficult-to-manage conflicting pressures from
laboratory, clinical responsibilities, and family
FULL FINANCIAL SUPPORT:
Enables careers in academic medicine
(but this is not a free lunch)
Preclinical Phase – Years 1-2
• Preclinical Coursework
• Explore Research Opportunities
• Laboratory Rotations
• Choice of Thesis Advisor
• National Board Exam
• Clinical Clerkships
Research Phase – Years 3-6
• Graduate Coursework
• Bench Research and Publication
• Explore Clinical Interests
(medical specialties)
• -/+ Clinical Experience (limited)
Clinical Phase – Years 7-8
• Clinical Clerkships
• Residency Application
• Graduation
M4 Year
M3 Year
Clinical Phase – Years 7-8
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•
•
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Medicine
Surgery (including subspecialties)
Ob/Gyn
Pediatrics
Neurology
Psychiatry
Primary Care
•
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Medicine Subinternship
Senior Electives
13-24 Months
Total time
MD-PhD vs MSTP
• What is a Medical Scientist Training Program?
• 109 MD-PhD Programs (42 MSTPs, 67 non-MSTP)
• NIH funded MSTP Training Grant
Part 2: Preparing your
application.
Making sure you are the applicant that
programs will take a second look at
What MD-PhD Programs Seek
•Strong academics (of course)
•MCAT’s
Plus
•Passion for Science
•Research Experience
•Clinical Experience
•Leadership
•Commitment to Serving Others
The To Do List
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•
•
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Coursework
Research
Clinical Exposure
Community Service
Extras
Recommendations
Research Academic Year
Summer Opportunities
Post-undergraduate
Posters, Oral Presentations &
Publications
The MD-PhD Application
How to get the coveted offer of
acceptance…
MD-PhD Application
• APPLY EARLY, APPLY EARLY, APPLY
EARLY, APPLY EARLY, APPLY EARLY!!
• Universal MD-PhD application available on
AMCAS.
• Personal Statements
• Letters of recommendation
• GPA and MCAT
• Publications help
• Secondary forms
Personal Statements
Personal Statement –
• Individual characteristics, experiences and motivations for
choosing a career as an MD/PhD.
• Discuss unique life experiences or skills
Why I Want to be an MD/PhD –
• Explain rationale for wanting to become an MD/PhD.
• Discuss generally how you envision using the combined degree
in the future (specifics not necessary).
Research Experience • Describe any and all research experiences you have had.
• Provide clear timelines for each experience
• Discuss your role(s) in the research project.
The Interview
During the MD/PhD interview:
• Try to talk with as many as possible research faculty in
your area of interest
• Ask lots of questions to the students in the program –
 they are the best indicator of whether a program has
any major issues
• Be prepared to discuss your research in-depth
 You should know the big picture as well as the
experimental details
• Be prepared to discuss your rationale for choosing the
MD/PhD track
• Be personable
 engage both the faculty and students in one-on-one
conversation about science and extracurricular
activities
AAMC - Admissions Data
• About 2K MD/PhD applicants nationally
• Of these, about one-half (1K) are offered an
interview with at least one MD-PhD Program.
• Of these, about 2/3rd are offered admission to at
least one MD-PhD Program.
AAMC – National Statistics
• Nationally, there are about:
• 4,500 MD-PhD students, of which:
 ~12% are underrepresented minority
 ~40% are female
Part 3: Evaluating an
MD-PhD Program
In which program will you not only
survive but thrive
Location
• Geography –
 Close to family
 Housing availability, proximity, affordability
 Variety of extracurricular activities
 Proximity to things that matter to you
School - Academics
• Curriculum  Preclinical coursework
 Clinical requirements (Clerkships/Electives)
• Patient populations and clinical facilities
• Flexibility
• Graduate Programs –
 Coursework requirements
 # of required lab rotations
• Residency Placement of Alumni
Faculty
• Are there sufficient faculty who share your
interests?
• Is there a strong research community?
• Collaboration
• Training record (time to degree)
Strengths of MD-PhD Program
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Program Director’s commitment to program
Administrative support
Support from Dean/Administration
Supplemental program opportunities seminars, lectures, programs, socials
Gut Feeling
In the end, you will almost certainly make your
decision based on a gut feeling, and then find
rational arguments to support it. And that is the
way it should be.
Questions…Concerns?
The Complete Guide to the
MD/PhD Degree
Ben Rosner MD, PhD
Jayakar Nayak MD/PhD
J&S Publishing

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