Dual-Degree programs: MD/PHDThe Medical Scientist Training Program
L. James Willmore, M.D., Associate Dean for Admissions
Andrew J. Lechner, Ph.D., Director
PHYSICIAN-SCIENTIST TRAINING AT
SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Saint Louis University offers a comprehensive M.D./Ph.D. Training Program to promote academic excellence in clinical medicine and disease-based research. Mentors guide our M.D./Ph.D. trainees to become physician scientists and medical ethicists with the credentials to succeed in academic medicine and related careers well into the 21st century. As supervised by the Program Steering Committee, these combined-degree graduates reflect the best features of our innovative M.D. curricula and our exceptional Ph.D. training environments. Throughout their tenure at SLU, trainees are continuously evaluated to assure that they develop into self-motivated intellectual leaders and compassionate problem-solving diagnosticians, as well as becoming creative scientists capable of sustained research productivity.
The program is available to all interested M.D. applicants. Candidates for on-site interviews are selected from a national pool based on their undergraduate credentials (including science/math GPA and MCAT), and their demonstrated ability to participate in publishable research. Interviewees meet in St. Louis with current trainees and potential mentors, the Dean of Admissions of the Medical School, and the Steering Committee, which privately evaluates a brief research seminar given by each interviewee. Successful applicants receive full tuition support and competitive stipends throughout their M.D. and Ph.D. training, contingent on continued academic excellence and acceptable progress toward their research objectives. Most trainees begin research rotations in June before commencing their Year 1 M.D. studies in mid-August. Other qualified individuals may apply after beginning their M.D. training. Disciplines in which trainees may earn the Ph.D. include: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Health Care Ethics; Molecular Microbiology & Immunology; Neurobiology; Pathology; and Pharmacological & Physiological Science.
In addition to the didactic and research requirements for these degrees, trainees participate in weekly M.D./Ph.D. colloquia to enhance their skills in critical thinking, scientific writing, career selection, and public speaking. By midwinter of Year 2 M.D. studies, trainees select a Ph.D. mentor in whose department they will complete their dissertation research. The Program has specific grant writing and research presentation requirements for trainees during the Ph.D. years, and at least one Steering Committee member serves on each dissertation committee. Defense of the trainee's doctoral dissertation is followed by a transitional clerkship that facilitates reentry into Years 3 and 4 of the M.D. curriculum. While this clinical training is pursued, M.D./Ph.D. trainees receive individualized career guidance from University physician-scientists to ensure that appropriately academic residency programs are achieved. Trainees normally complete requirements for both degrees within 7-8 years, including all coursework, clerkships, laboratories, and national licensure exams through USMLE Step 2.
Interested students should submit their AMCAS application as well as the secondary application by December 15. A detailed M.D./Ph.D. Student Guidebook is also available as a text file by contacting the Program Director.