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By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., tips for applying to md-phd programs.

If you can’t imagine a medical career without helping patients and participating in research, you’ve probably considered the MD-PhD track. Learn all about applying to MD-PhD programs and get our expert tips for strengthening your application.

Is an MD-PhD Program right for you?

The MD-PhD is a dual doctorate degree program for students who are interested in careers as “physician-scientists." By graduation, you’ll have fulfilled requirements for both the MD and PhD degrees. The MD-PhD takes about 8 years to complete during which you receive medical training AND become an expert in a specific research field. The program also requires dissertation research in your field of graduate study, which can range from biomedical laboratory disciplines like biochemistry or genetics to fields like economics, sociology, or anthropology . After graduation, MD-PhD students usually work as researchers or as faculty members at medical schools and universities.

Learn more about MD combined degree programs .

md phd programs

What are Medical Scientist Training Programs?

Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP) are MD-PhD programs that are funded by the National Institute of Health. Students who are admitted to these highly-competitive programs receive full tuition coverage, living expenses, and a stipend. There are currently 45  NIH-funded MSTP programs .

Are all MD-PhD programs free?

Over 60 medical and osteopathic medical schools  maintain their own MD-PhD or DO-PhD programs that are not funded by the NIH. Depending on the school, these programs offer full or partial financial support for their students.

Applying to MD-PhD Programs

Nearly all MD-PhD programs use the same application process as MD admissions—via the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application . One key difference? MD-PhD applicants submit two additional essays: the MD-PhD Essay and the Significant Research Experience Essay:

  • The MD-PhD Essay asks you to explain your reasons for pursuing the combined degree program.
  • The  Significant Research Experience Essay asks you to describe your key research experiences, including your research supervisor's name and affiliation, the duration of the experience, the nature of the problem studied, and your contributions to the project.

Read More: Guide to Your Med School Applications

Do you need to take the GRE Test to apply for the Md-Phd Program?

Programs have different policies, so some schools may require both the MCAT and the GRE for combined degree applicants. For example, an MD-Phd in Anthropology at one school may require the GRE, while the MD-PhD in Immunology may not. Check with your prospective med schools to make sure you’re covered.

Timeline for MD-PhD Admissions

The MD-PHD application timeline is virtually the same as for MD admissions. (Remember you are using the same application service!) Here are the important dates for MD-PHD admissions:

  • Early May: AMCAS opens and begins accepting transcripts
  • Early June:  AMCAS begins accepting application submissions
  • October–March: MD-PhD applicant interviews
  • December–March: Admissions decisions sent to applicants
  • March–April: Md-PhD applicants make their final decisions
  • June–August: MD-PHD programs begin!

Tips for Boosting Your Md-Phd Application

Competition for MD-PhD applicants is fierce. After all, you have to convince medical schools to invest significant time and financial resources in you. Of the total 1,936 MD-PhD applicants in 2016–17, only 649 matriculated in a U.S. med school. Here’s what you can do to strengthen your overall application.

1. You need strong MCAT scores and a high GPA

If your grades and scores aren’t where they need to be, address it before you apply!  Check out these admissions stats for MD-PhD matriculants to U.S. medical schools from 2016-2017:

SOURCE:  Association of American Medical Colleges

Make a smart MCAT prep plan and retake the exam if necessary. Consider completing additional grad school work to raise your GPA and take advantage of our online tutors for pre-med requirements!

2. You need sustained research background + a clear picture of your future in research

3. you need the right recommenders.

Most letters of recommendation should come for your research mentors, professors who run the labs you work in, and the postdoctoral fellows you work with. Make sure your recommenders know that you are applying to MD-PhD programs as this will affect the letters they write.

Want to get an edge over the crowd?

Our admissions experts know what it takes it get into med school. Get the customized strategy and guidance you need to help achieve your goals.

Med School Admission Counseling

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  • Physician-Scientist

MD-PhD Programs: The Definitive Guide

Including a full list of all md-phd programs in the us and canada.

MD-PhD Programs

Your answer to the question “ why do you want to be a doctor? ” can help you determine whether MD-PhD programs are right for you. MD-PhD programs accept exceptionally bright and motivated applicants interested in becoming physician-scientists – this means that instead of focusing your time and efforts on clinical work, you will commit your life to scientific innovation and research. In addition to the demanding curriculum and extended period of study (7-8 years!), MD-PhD application procedures typically involve additional components and supplementary interviews.

Whether you are applying through AMCAS,  TMDSAS , or  OMSAS , you will be required to submit additional essay components explaining why you are the right fit for the MD-PhD program of your choice along with your  AMCAS personal statement ,  AMCAS Work and Activities , or TMDSAS application. In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about MD-PhD programs, including a list of schools that offer MD-PhD programs, how to apply, and 5 tips to get accepted!

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Listen to the blog!

Article Contents 17 min read

What is an md-phd program.

If you are contemplating between MD PhD vs MD , it's important to know what the MD-PhD programs entail. The MD-PhD program allows you to obtain a dual degree in both medicine and research to become what is known as a physician-scientist or medical scientist. After graduation, students will receive a combined MD/PhD degree with advanced, hands-on research training and expertise in a particular field of their choice.

Struggling to decide between MD-PhD and MD programs? Check out our video below!

The MD-PhD program is definitely not an easy one, it is designed for exceptional students who have a true interest and commitment to a career in medical research. If you're only interested in becoming a practicing physician, that doesn't require a PhD, so the MD-PhD program is not the right choice for you.

When considering if this program is well suited to your strengths and interests, ask yourself a variety of questions. Are you fascinated by the unknown? Do you find yourself asking why and how? Are you interested in a disease or condition that is commonly treated by physicians? Do you want to make new discoveries and implement what you've learned? Do you want to combine scientific research with medicine?  What is your greatest weakness ? If research is not your forte, perhaps MD-PhD programs are not for you. However, if you feel a definite drive and determination to pursue medicine and research at the same time, the MD-PhD program is a perfect option.

Does my PhD have to be in laboratory research?

PhD programs on offer vary from school to school, therefore, depending on the school you apply to, you may not necessarily have to train in laboratory research. The vast majority of MD-PhD students obtain their PhD in biomedical laboratory fields of study. This includes genetics, neuroscience, and immunology. However, some schools offer research in fields outside of the laboratory in fields such as economics, public health and sociology.

Although each program has its own curriculum, all MD-PhD programs train students to become competent physicians as well as skilled scientists. Most students complete the degree within 7 to 8 years. The length of your degree will depend on several factors, like your clinical requirements, PhD requirements, progress of your research, and the time needed to develop into an independent investigator, which is the primary goal of the PhD training. Typically, students can choose to divide their training into 2-3-2 track or 2-4-2 track. You start the program by mastering basic science courses as an MD student for 1 or 2 years, followed by an intense period of PhD research for 3 or 4 years. The PhD period is very demanding because you must complete your research, thesis writing, and defend your work within this short timeframe. The last 2 years are dedicated to clinical training.

This is a general outline, but each program may have its own approach. For example, there may be more research integrated into your first two years of study. Some programs may require you to participate in research labs during the summer between first and second years to get acquainted with programs and departments related to your research interests. Depending on your research, you may be required to start clinical training during your PhD component.

The general timeline of completion is as follows:

2 years of clinical training to prepare you for residency. After clerkships, you will complete the USMLE Step 2 exam and any other MD requirements of your program. "}]">

MD-PhD programs are not just a combination of two separate degrees. During your studies, you will be exposed to unique activities and training designed specifically for MD-PhD students. These will include courses and workshops, seminars dedicated to research and professional development, and sessions where you will be able to present your research. You will also be able to join your colleagues in student retreats and conferences designed specifically for this combined degree.

Having an MD PhD vs MD degree allows you to enjoy a career that combines both research and medicine. You have the opportunity for exploration, scientific discovery and medical intervention. Most MD-PhD graduates work in medical schools, research institutes or teaching hospitals, but there is also the option of working in public health, for pharmaceutical companies and even running your own lab.

How can I afford this program?

If a school is offering an MD-PhD program, they are very aware of the difficulty in training to become a doctor and researcher at the same time. They value physician-scientists highly and fortunately, most programs offer some sort of funding opportunities to students. This can include tuition waivers and a stipend to help cover the costs of living expenses. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides funding to 49 MD-PhD programs through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). These programs are extremely competitive as the funding offers a tuition allowance and a basic stipend, with most institutions supplementing the stipend.

Want some more tips on how to pay for medical school? Check out our guide below:

Which schools offer the MD-PhD/MTSP program?

MD-PhD programs are not a prerogative of those seeking the easiest medical schools to get into . While their number is growing all over Canada and the US, here I've included an up to date list, which is also available on the AAMC website. In addition to this guide, the AAMC website is a great resource where you can find a variety of other helpful tools for MD-PhD prospective students.

The following tabs show the list of schools that offer the MD-PhD/MSTSP program in the US, organized state-wise and alphabetically. Please use the right and left arrow to navigate to more tabs.

Applying to an MD-PhD program is essentially the same as applying to an MD program. If you haven't already done so, you will have to write the MCAT. Check out our blog for the current MCAT test and release dates . Almost all programs use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) where you have a chance to apply as an MD-PhD applicant. As with MD programs, some will require a CV for graduate school , along with a statement of purpose . The only difference is that for MD-PhD applicants, you will be required to provide two additional essays: the first should answer why you want to pursue MD-PhD training, the second should showcase your research experience. There are a few programs that are using an alternative service for accepting applications, so be sure to check which service your program is using.

MD-PhD Program Requirements


MD-PhD programs require the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree and background in the following disciplines:

This can include general chemistry, organic chemistry, as well as biochemistry. "},{"number":"4","title":"One year of Physics","comment":""},{"number":"5","title":"One year of Math","comment":""}]" code="timeline2">

These medical school prerequisites are the baseline. Your academic record should demonstrate that you have taken a variety of science and non-science courses. Admissions committees will note the difficulty levels of your coursework and your academic improvement over time. Make sure to check with your program of choice for any specific course requirements, i.e. advanced placement classes, online courses, etc. The most important prerequisite for MD-PhD programs is your research background and your experience in the lab.


According to the latest AAMC statistics, the average GPA of MD-PhD matriculants is 3.8, while the average MCAT score is 516. These are very impressive numbers and you must strive to at least meet these averages if you’re planning to apply. If your academic record does not reflect these numbers, you need to get your grades up. To improve your GPA, re-enroll in classes you performed poorly in and get a higher grade. Not only will this increase your GPA, but it also demonstrate your dedication, patience, and desire for improvement. Ask your instructors and teaching assistants if you can do anything for extra credit. Find a tutor or a study buddy to help with disciplines you struggle with the most. You can also plan your school schedule to include courses in disciplines you ace. If working on your GPA is not a priority for you, find out how to get into medical school with a low GPA .

Your MCAT score is an important indicator of your academic prowess. Before you take the test, make sure you know what is a good MCAT score and when to start studying for the MCAT . Give yourself ample time to prepare. Start by taking an MCAT practice test to figure out what areas of knowledge and concepts you need to improve. Create an MCAT study schedule that incorporates a variety of active and passive study strategies. Keep taking practice tests to see if you’re improving. If you consistently score at the 90% percentile in your practice tests, you can start planning to take the real MCAT. Remember, take the test only when you feel ready. If you’re still wondering “ When should I take the MCAT ?”, read our blog to get some tips.

Are you thinking of retaking the MCAT? Check out our tips below:

Altus Suite

Firstly, research whether your schools require the completion of the entire Altus Suite, or whether it's one of the medical schools that require CASPer only. If your schools require the completion of the entire Altus Suite, you will also need to complete the Snapshot interview and the Duet profile. It's challenging to prepare for all three Altus Suite components, but CASPer remains the most intimidating.

The CASPer test is an online situational judgment test that claims to assess the professional suitability of students applying to professional schools, including medical schools. The entire test is written on a computer and the students only receive their percentile scores. The test is comprised of 15 scenarios dealing with real-life situations. You are asked 3 follow up questions based on the scenario observed. The questions will ask you to answer how you would deal with the situations you witnessed. In the first section of the test, you are given 5 minutes to type your answers for those three questions. In the second section, you will be given 1 minute to record your answer to each of questions. The format is a challenge, so that's why it's so important to make sure you know how the CASPer test is scored .

You have probably heard that it is impossible to prepare for CASPer. It is indeed difficult, but there are important approaches that you can implement to ace your CASPer test! The key is to know what categories of questions are typically included in a CASPer test and to have a concrete answer strategy for each question category. This means that even though nobody knows what exact questions you are going to get on your test, you will have an approach for answering any questions that may come your way. Make sure you know how to prepare for CASPer and go over our CASPer practice questions to ace your test!

You will need to submit a total of three essays for the MD-PhD program if you’re applying through AMCAS. On top of your AMCAS personal statement, you will need to submit two additional essays: the significant research experience essay and the MD PhD essay . If you’re applying through TMDSAS, you will need to submit the Dual Degree essay along with the other essay application components.

While your medical school personal statement answers the question “Why do you want to be a doctor?”, the MD-PhD specific essays must demonstrate your research expertise and answer why you would not be satisfied with a career pursuing only one of the two programs. The significant research experience essay must outline the most valuable research experiences you’ve had. You will have 10,000 characters, including spaces, to give detailed accounts of your research projects: the nature of the problem studied, your role and contribution, duration of the project, and the name of your principal investigators and their affiliation.

Your AMCAS MD-PhD essay must be no longer than 3,000 characters long. The TMDSAS dual degree essay is limited to 5,000 characters including spaces. These essays must convince the admissions committees that you would be the right fit for the combined degree and how your experiences have led you to apply to it. Your MD-PhD essay should tell the story of how you became involved in scientific research and how you want to apply your research to medical practice.

Remember, in this essay, you must link your passion for research to clinical practice. Adcoms need to see that you can be both: an expert researcher and a competent MD. You must demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate for the combined program, so do not simply focus on your research background. Showing interest in research alone may eliminate you from the applicant pool – adcoms will think that you can simply pursue a PhD. While focusing only on research is great for the significant research experience essay, your dual degree and MD-PhD essays must be crossovers between your scientific research and the experiences you had working with patients and physicians. Ideally, you will be able to show how your research interests are inspired by clinical experiences or patients you’ve had a chance to work with.

Want to know how to write the MD-PhD essay? Check out our video below!

Research Experience

As an MD-PhD applicant, you must have substantive research experience. Having a quality research background will indicate to admissions committees that you understand what you are getting into and that you have been exposed to research methods and techniques. Ideally, your application will demonstrate that you have been involved in multiple research projects, including thesis research. Your application must show that you have dedicated a substantial amount of your undergraduate degree to scientific research, otherwise the adcoms might wonder why you are pursuing a research-oriented program.

What is most important in your research background is the quality of the experiences. You do not need to get involved in hundreds of research projects to make a great impression on the adcoms. Even one valuable research project can demonstrate your curiosity and commitment to scientific research. Having spent an extended period of time on a research project showcases your dedication, genuine interest, and high level of expertise in a research field.

Make sure you can identify what you have learned from your research experiences – you will have to outline valuable lessons and skills you acquired in multiple parts of your MD-PhD application and interviews. Ideally, you can discuss the relationship between your research experience and the medical field. Remember, you do not need to have an extensive background in medical or clinical research. Laboratory skills are transferable from discipline to discipline. However, even if you have little to no clinical research background, you must show that you have reflected on the relationship between your own research experiences and their application to the medical field. An MD-PhD application is a tough balancing act: you must always remember to honor the integral relationship between research and clinical practice.

If you’re looking to bolster your research background, try looking for research assistant positions on campus. Talk to your instructors and teaching assistants to find out if they are involved in research projects and whether they need help. Keep your eyes out for any research position postings on your school’s website or around science departments. If you’re no longer a student on campus, reach out to your former instructors and ask about research opportunities. You can also contact physicians you volunteered with or shadowed, to find out if they or their clinic are involved in research projects. Even if they are not, physicians can often recommend some names of organizations and other medical professionals who are research-oriented.

Keep in mind that if you apply to research positions, you will need to assemble a strong application, including a research assistant cover letter and CV. If academia is your passion, then you might want to look into special master’s programs . These graduate degrees are specifically designed to build-up students’ medical school applications and may help you improve the quality of your research background.

Are you looking for research positions? Check out our tips below:

While it’s true that MD-PhD applicants highly value research and progress, you do need to demonstrate to MD-PhD admissions committees that you have clinical background. It is one of the key extracurriculars for medical school , so having no clinical background will significantly decrease your chances of acceptance to an MD-PhD program. You must provide evidence to justify your suitability for both research and medicine and that you have taken the necessary steps to test drive your future career.

Remember to emphasize quality over quantity – you do not need to have an extensive clinical background to impress the adcoms. Choose to volunteer or work with organizations and institutions that would further inform your decision to apply to MD-PhD programs. Patient care is at the heart of the medical profession, so it is vital for MD-PhD applicants to get exposed to patients, who are after all the greatest inspiration for medical research and progress. Apply to work and volunteer in clinics, hospitals, and hospices. Apply to volunteer in long-term care and retirement homes. Gain clinical experience by working as a health professional’s assistant, become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), or a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT), a medical scribe, or a personal caretaker.

Shadowing a physician can also greatly inform your knowledge of clinical practice. As a passive observer, you will get to see the everyday responsibilities of a practicing physician. Take note of memorable lessons you learn – they may prove to be invaluable sources for your MD-PhD essays. Make sure you know how many shadowing hours are required for medical school to fulfill the requirement and how to ask to shadow a doctor . Remember, committing to a clinical setting or shadowing a physician will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on how research can improve medical practice. Without clinical background, your perception of the medical field and medical research will not be complete.

MD PhD Program Statistics

Average mean statistics for MD-PhD matriculants in the US:

Overall acceptance rate: 2.47% ","label":"Overall Acceptance Rate","title":"Overall Acceptance Rate"}]" code="tab3" template="BlogArticle">

Residency Options

You might be wondering what kind of residency options MD-PhD graduates have after so many years of rigorous training. Just like the rest of applicants, you will need to use the ERAS application to apply to American residency programs and CaRMS to apply to programs in Canada.

First of all, you must know that as an MD-PhD graduate you will need to do a bit more research into residency programs than regular MDs. This is because not all residency programs focus on the research side of medical training. If you want to further your scientific as well as your clinical education, you will have to do a little more work to figure out which residencies will allow you to do so.

Start by speaking with your program mentors who can suggest residencies they know to be particularly research-friendly. You can check programs' research track records to see if they value research and what kind of opportunities there are to shorten the residency for research-track trainees, such as the Accelerated Research Pathway (ARP), Integrated Research Pathway (IRP), and other physician-scientist track programs.

Look for residencies that have been specifically developed to foster the training of physician-scientists by fully integrating research into the clinical training. These programs usually offer shortened residency (specialty) training by allowing students to shorten their training by 1 year, depending on the specialty. Make sure that the residency offers their trainees to start research right at the beginning of the program, rather than choosing a full-time lab later in the process. Find out if there is any special financial support for graduates of the combined programs.

To learn more about opportunities for physician-scientists, check out the American Physician Scientist Association list of residencies. Be aware, that if you decide to pursue clinical practice rather than research after your graduate from MD-PhD, you can still pursue residency in any specialty you choose.

1. Gain extensive research experience.

Admissions into MD-PhD programs are highly competitive, and your research experience is essential to your success in gaining entry into the program. You must be able to demonstrate a longstanding commitment to research. Be sure to start gaining experience as soon as possible and try to diversify that experience. For example, you could work in a medical laboratory, research hospital and for a pharmaceutical company. While it is a start to work as a lab tech, the majority of your experience should be focused on hypothesis-based research. The admissions committee will be interested in your ability and experience in developing a hypothesis into a research problem, testing that hypothesis by conducting research and generating a report to document your findings. Try to tailor your research experiences to the field in which you want to pursue, experiences in the biomedical sciences are very useful but not necessarily required if you'll be studying in fields outside of the laboratory.

2. Contribute to publications.

Try to publish your research findings or contribute to publications to help demonstrate the active role you played in conducting research. This can be a great way to give you a competitive edge as not all candidates have been published or have contributed to publications. If you have been published or contributed to a publication, even if you only played a small role, be sure you are very familiar with the paper and major details surrounding the research. During your interview, the admissions committee will ask you questions about the research you participated in and will want to see your thorough understanding of that research. In a previous blog, we discuss some of the hardest grad school interview questions and answers, as well as common medical school interview questions be sure you review these to help you prepare for your interview.

3. Develop good relationships with your research mentor.

It is very important to develop good relationships with your research mentors straight away. When you apply to MD-PhD programs, you'll have to provide letters of recommendation and the best recommendations will come from a mentor who has spent a long time with you, has been able to directly assess your research skills and has a strong relationship with you.

4. Gain shadowing experience.

Gaining shadowing experience is important for students applying to an MD program so it's no different for those interested in MD-PhD programs. Remember, you are not only demonstrating your passion for research, you should also be interested in becoming a clinical doctor. Shadowing is a great way to learn quickly in a medical environment and gives you excellent experiences that can be discussed in your application or during your interviews.

5. Volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities.

Community projects and extracurriculars for medical school are a great way to demonstrate a variety of skills desired by the admissions committee such as leadership, teamwork, commitment and problem-solving. Whether you are a tutor, a teaching assistant, or are even part of a debate club, your experiences and what you gained or learned from them are essential. Check out our blog on volunteering to find out how many volunteer hours for medical school you need, as well as the best type of volunteer activity to make your application stand out.

While research is going to be the major focus of the MD-PhD, you must still have sufficient clinical and shadowing experience to assure that medicine is also a desired component of your career. If you do not have clinical and patient experience, the admissions committee will question why you’re applying to the combined program, rather than simply a PhD.

Most applicants do not have master’s degrees. However, some students pursue graduate education to bolster their MD-PhD applications. For example, some students choose to complete special master’s programs to gain valuable research experience.

There is a possibility that your school of choice will forgive a lower GPA if the MCAT score is high. Likewise, if an MCAT score is lower than the school’s typical average, the GPA may compensate for it. However, due to their highly selective process, MD-PhD programs take only the best. Try to ensure that your GPA and MCAT score meet the averages of the schools to which you’re applying. Remember, your GPA and MCAT are not the only components of your MD-PhD application but they are often used to weed out students from the application pool.

While most programs require only the MCAT, some programs may ask you to submit GRE scores as well. Check with your program to make sure.

A good research experience provides you with the opportunity to conduct hypothesis-driven research. You get the chance to develop this hypothesis into a research problem, conduct research to test the hypothesis, and then report the outcome and significance of this research. You do not need to have research experience in the medical field to qualify for MD-PhD. Many research skills are transferable across disciplines. As long as you learn valuable research skills and understand the process, your research experience can come from any field you like.

The quality of your research experience is more important than its amount. Your application can be strong if you convey genuine interest and experience in only one research project. Your progress and commitment to a specific research area demonstrates expertise and dedication. It is not necessary to be involved in dozens of research projects or make any ground-breaking scientific discoveries to enter the MD-PhD program. In your application, focus on what you have learned and accomplished and don't be afraid to discuss your setbacks in addition to your accomplishments.

If you have publications, make sure to include them in your application. Having published research can give you a competitive edge as not every applicant will have this experience. Keep in mind that you must have an in-depth understanding of this research because you will be asked about it during your interviews. However, for the most part publications are not necessary. Many students apply directly out of undergrad and admissions committees understand that it is difficult to contribute to publication at such an early stage in your education.

Early applications are highly encouraged since most programs have rolling admissions. Most MD-PhD programs are affiliated with the AMCAS where you apply through a primary application and then complete a MD-PhD program-specific secondary application. The AMCAS application site opens in early June; most programs suggest that your application be submitted and completed before September.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is an MD-PhD program that has been awarded a training grant (T32) from the National Institute of General Medical Science that financially supports trainees in the program. There are currently about 49 MD-PhD programs that have T32 awards. Non-MSTP MD-PhD programs also provide environments where students obtain outstanding dual-degree training.

Each institution has a financial package. Most programs offer a monthly stipend and a full tuition scholarship for the length of the program. Check with your program of choice.

It takes 7 to 8 years. You must complete both MD and PhD degree requirements to graduate. Typically, you start the program by mastering basic science courses as an MD student for 1 or 2 years, followed by an intense period of PhD research for 3 or 4 years. During the PhD period, you must complete your research, thesis writing, and defend your work. The last 2 years are dedicated to clinical training.

These programs aim to train physician-scientists, but other research-oriented career paths are also possible. Graduates of MD-PhD programs often go on to become faculty members at medical schools, universities, and research institutes such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Ideally, at least one of your writers will be the head of a research project in which you participated. It is important to have a person who can speak to your research skills and progress. Other writers can include professors and instructors, volunteer and work supervisors, athletics coaches, or a physician you worked with or whom you shadowed.

It is completely normal to change direction in your research throughout your studies. Many students change their research fields after they gain more research experience. Rather than setting in stone what you are going to study, your application is meant to demonstrate the quality of your experiences and whether you are ready for the rigors of MD-PhD training.

It is certainly possible to become a physician-scientist without obtaining an MD-PhD degree. However, if you are lucky enough to know that you want a career based in medicine and research, the joint program is the most effective way to become a physician-scientist. You can complete an MD first and obtain a PhD afterward, or you could complete a PhD first and obtain your MD afterward, however, the disadvantage is that this route takes much longer. Some schools will let you transfer into their MD-PhD program if you've completed a year or two in a medical or graduate school program at their school. If you are a few years into a medical or graduate school program at a different school however, most schools will not accept your transfer, although it can happen on rare occasions.

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how long md phd program

Is an MD/PhD Program Right for You?

MD-PhD programs may be right for you if you are interested in a career path that melds both clinical practice and in-depth scientific research. MD-PhD graduates aren’t simply doctors; they are “physician-scientists” or “medical scientists.”

MD-PhD programs offer a dual-degree track that combines the clinical training of a standard MD degree with the added coursework of a PhD. The PhD training is particularly rigorous and includes classes usually in the realm of biomedical sciences, as well as advanced research training, lab rotations, and intensive investigative work.

The payoff for choosing an MD-PhD program is that these clinical medicine graduates are equipped to treat patients while also participating in the discovery and development of innovative healthcare solutions. 

Here are a few reasons you might want to pursue an MD/PhD career:

  • You want to participate in cutting-edge medical research.
  • You want career options beyond clinical medical practice.
  • You want to help train future generations of medical doctors.
  • You want more collaborative research opportunities with colleagues.
  • You want funding opportunities only available to MD/PhD students.

The Difference Between MD & MD/PhD

The difference between MD and MD-PhD is that graduates with an MD-PhD receive PhD training and hold a PhD degree in addition to their MD degree.

The cost of an MD-PhD program varies widely depending on the institution. Still, the stipend and tuition-free training make many of these programs significantly less financially burdensome compared to standalone MD or PhD programs.

MD/PhD students will complete graduate school and medical school qualified to hold positions in academic medicine and biomedical research (in addition to being qualified to practice clinical medicine. 

What Is an MD?

A medical doctor has earned a standard medical degree or MD and is skilled to practice clinical medicine. Medical students must complete 4 years of medical school to earn their degree, followed by 3-7 years of residency and fellowship training to practice medicine.

What Is a PhD?

PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy in reference to their critical knowledge and research experience in a particular field of study. A PhD is the highest possible academic degree.

Earning a PhD is often considered harder than earning an MD due to the scientific research required to stimulate original thought and develop quality hypotheses.

How Competitive Are MD/PhD Programs?

Physician-scientist programs are slightly more selective and competitive than the average medical program.

Between 2018 and 2023, a little more than one-third of students who applied to an MD/PhD program (37.7%) were accepted. The acceptance rate for medical school applicants in general was 41.2% for the 2022-23 application cycle.

The test scores of these programs also indicate how much more competitive these programs are. The average MCAT score of MD/PhD matriculants in the 2022-23 cycle was 516.2, and their mean GPA was 3.82. In comparison, medical school matriculants overall had an average MCAT score of 511.9 and average GPA of 3.75 during the same cycle.

How Long Are MD/PhD Programs?

The MD-PhD dual degree takes approximately 7-8 years of coursework to complete, followed by an additional 3-7 years of residency to be eligible to practice medicine. 

Generally, MD coursework is emphasized in years 1-2, followed by research training in years 3-5, and ending with medical training and clinicals in years 6-8. 

Requirements for MD/PhD Applicants

If you are considering applying to an MD/PhD program , know that having strong essays and letters is more important than incrementally higher MCAT test scores and GPAs. Numbers get your foot in the door; storytelling gets you a seat at the table. 

In general, the requirements for MD/PhD applicants include:

  • MCAT score in the 90th percentile: Specific MCAT requirements for MD/PhD programs vary by school. However, in general, most students have the best chance at success with an MCAT score in the 90th percentile or higher. In the 2022-23 application cycle, MD/PhD applicants had an average MCAT score of 511.3, while matriculants averaged 516.2.
  • GPA of 3.7 or higher: Like MCAT scores, the GPA requirements for MD/PhD programs differ by program. But your chances are highest with an average GPA of at least 3.7. In the 2022-23 application cycle, MD/PhD applicants averaged a science GPA of 3.61 and overall GPA of 3.68, while matriculants averaged a 3.78 science GPA and 3.82 overall.
  • Compelling personal statement: Your personal statement essay should explain why you want to become a physician and is required for both MD & MD/PhD applications . All prospective doctors must write a personal statement that stands out, and this is doubly true for MD/PhD applicants.
  • 2 additional essays: You’ll write one essay conveying your personal interest in pursuing an MD/PhD dual degree specifically, and one essay covering your substantive experiences in the field of research . These may include multiple summer projects, senior thesis research, or 1+ years of post-undergrad research programs and activities.
  • 2-3 letters from research mentors who can praise your scientific potential.
  • 1-2 letters from clinical mentors who know your aptitude for patient care.
  • 1 letter from the premed committee.
  • 1 letter from a mentor who can discuss your leadership skills and personal traits in an extracurricular setting.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering an MD/PhD Program

By answering these questions, you can choose the graduate program that is the best fit for you over the next 8 years.

  • What skills do you want to develop? Choose a program that has ample opportunities to explore your field of interest and in which you can identify potential mentors for rotations and thesis projects.
  • What is your preferred MD/PhD program size? Choose a smaller program of MD-PhD students if you prefer hands-on guidance with individualized attention and a larger program if you prefer a larger community with more networking opportunities. 
  • Where do you want to live for 8 years of medical school ? Choose a location that fits your needs for cost of living, housing, transportation, extracurriculars, as well as opportunities for fun and making friends. 
  • Does the program offer financial aid? Choose a program that meets your financial needs in the form of stipends and tuition waivers. It’s important to note that if you drop out of an MD-PhD program, some schools require you to pay back the investment that the school made in you. 
  • Will you fit into the school’s culture? Choose a program after you’ve visited the campus, talked with the current students and faculty, and asked about opportunities in your field of interest as well as other’s experiences at the school and living in the city.
  • Does the MD/PhD Program align with your timeline? Choose a program with coursework that allows you to graduate in your preferred timeline, which could be sooner or longer than eight years.

Possible Career Paths for MD/PhD Graduates

A career choice often depends on an individual’s specific interests, such as which medical specialties they are drawn to, whether they prefer working with patients or in a laboratory, and how they want to contribute to advancing medical science.

The salary range for MD/PhD graduates varies significantly by position and type of work. Policy analysts’ starting salary is around $57,000 per year, while attending physicians who do research can make upwards of $500,000.

Below are careers someone with an MD-PhD might pursue:

Attending Physician with Research Responsibilities

An MD/PhD holder in this position would have a traditional medical role seeing and treating patients, but they might also have dedicated time for research. This role allows one to continue practicing medicine while contributing to academic or clinical research. 

Individuals in this role often split their time among patient care, research activities, and instructional duties. Typically, they are found in educational hospitals or medical schools.

Physicians’ salaries can vary significantly based on specialty and experience, but generally, they are well-compensated. An attending physician in a specialized field can expect to earn upwards of $200,000 to $500,000 or more, especially if they have dual responsibilities that include research.

Translational Medicine Specialist

These specialists work at the intersection of basic research and patient care, focusing on turning research insights into practical medical applications. 

This role may exist within academia, industry, or clinical settings and is tailored for those who understand both the clinical and research aspects of medicine.

The salary for this role can also vary based on industry, location, and level of experience but would likely fall in the range of $150,000 to $250,000 or more.

Biomedical Researcher

Those with MD-PhD qualifications commonly secure jobs as researchers within biomedical science. Employment settings can range from academic institutions and drug companies to governmental agencies like the NIH.

Salaries for biomedical researchers typically fall somewhere between $85,000 and $104,000 per year.

Clinical Research Director

These are medical doctors responsible for overseeing clinical trials and research projects, usually within a hospital, academic institution, or pharmaceutical/biotech company. This role leverages both the clinical insights from an MD and the research methodology of a PhD.

Salaries can vary widely depending on the setting (academia, private industry, etc.) and geographic location. In general, a Clinical Research Director could expect to earn a six-figure salary, often ranging from around $150,000 to $250,000 or more per year.

Pharmaceutical/Biotech Industry Professional

A significant number of MD-PhDs join the pharmaceutical or biotech sectors. Responsibilities might include roles in the development of new medications, overseeing clinical trials, regulatory compliance, or managing medical affairs.

The average salary for this position will likely differ quite a bit depending on the exact role and company, but the average is generally between $125,000 and $133,00 per year.

Medical Director

In this capacity, a person is in charge of the medical elements of a healthcare facility or a specific department within a hospital. The role usually calls for expertise in both medical practice and research.

This position is likely to be one of the most lucrative of the MD/PhD field, with an average salary from $319,000 to $329,000 per year.

Science Policy Analyst/Advisor

Individuals in this role often find themselves in governmental or nonprofit settings, where they influence policy decisions related to scientific research and healthcare.

The typical salary for a science policy analyst starts at around $57,000 per year. Advisors have a slightly higher upper salary range and may make as much as $75,000.

Public Health Official

Some MD-PhDs opt for roles in the public sector where they focus on health concerns at a societal level. They may be employed by organizations such as the CDC or WHO.

In many cases, public health officials can expect to make a yearly salary of between $101,000 and $111,000.

Medical Science Liaison

This role typically serves as an intermediary between pharmaceutical enterprises and medical professionals. These liaisons disseminate information about new treatments and scientific advancements to doctors, researchers, and other medical stakeholders.

This role also typically commands a six-figure salary, usually ranging from approximately $100,000 to $200,000, depending on experience, location, and the hiring organization.

Medical Educator

Professors teach medical students, residents, and fellows in an academic setting while also conducting research. These doctors often have clinical responsibilities as well. An MD/PhD is especially well-suited for this role due to the dual focus on clinical care and research.

They may teach various medical subjects like pharmacology or genetics and actively participate in the educational goals of their institutions.

In academia, salaries can vary widely based on rank (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor), institution, and geographic location. Salaries may range from $100,000 to well over $200,000 for senior roles or those at prestigious institutions.

Best MD/PhD Programs in the US

There are 122 different American Universities that offer MD/PhD degree programs, according to the AAMC list of MD-PhD Programs by State . A further 13 Canadian programs also use the AMCAS application system.

Some MD-PhD programs in the United States are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This means that students receive full tuition remission, health insurance, and a living stipend throughout their training.

Medical schools with fully funded MD-PhD programs :

  • Dartmouth University, Geisel School of Medicine
  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • Harvard/M.I.T MD-PhD Program, Harvard Medical School
  • John Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science
  • University of Florida College of Medicine
  • University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
  • University of Southern California (USC), Keck School of Medicine
  • Yale University School of Medicine

Medical schools with the most MD-PhD spots historically: 

  • Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
  • University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
  • University of Michigan Medical School
  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  • New York University School of Medicine
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Yale School of Medicine

Medical schools with MD/PhD programs that accept international students:

  • Emory University School of Medicine
  • Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
  • University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
  • University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine/California Institute of Technology
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

The MD/PhD Application Process

The application process for MD-PhD programs is similar to that of typical MD programs. The two major differences are that you’ll designate yourself as an MD/PhD candidate on the AMCAS application, and you’ll submit 2 additional essays on that primary.

The Application Timeline

  • AMCAS (submit by end of May): You’ll fill out a primary application through AMCAS in the spring of the first year of your application cycle (e.g., to matriculate in fall 2026, you’ll submit AMCAS in spring 2025). AMCAS opens at the end of May each year. Aim to submit the primary application no later than the end of June, as early applications are more likely to be reviewed and accepted.
  • Secondaries (submit by end of August): You’ll respond to secondary applications in the summer after your primary application is reviewed by each school you submitted it to. Each program sends secondary applications to students who generally meet their minimum requirements.
  • Interviews (October-March): You’ll then attend interviews as invited between October and March. Some schools won’t contact you at all to reject your application; others will offer conflicting invites. You must prioritize your options and prepare for the opportunities that do come. 
  • Final decisions (December-March): Final decisions are made by schools between December and March. Schools with a rolling admissions cycle (most of them) accept students after completing interviews and determining a student is a fit. A smaller number of programs wait to send acceptances until after all interviews are complete.
  • Choose your program (March-April): Students choose where to matriculate between March and April.
  • Programs start (June-August): Programs begin between June and August, depending on the school.

How to Prepare for an MD/PhD interview

You should prepare for your MD/PhD interview by practicing mock interviews to rid yourself of the jitters and fine-tune your responses in various scenarios. In addition to developing your personal narrative, you must be able to explain your research training at multiple levels.  

If you’re interested in participating in a mock interview with a physician who has served on an admissions committee, consider a mock interview with MedSchoolCoach .

What to Do if You Get Waitlisted

Finding out that you’ve been waitlisted for the MD/PhD program of your dreams is never a good feeling. However, you are not helpless in the wait. It’s a good idea to remain in contact with program leaders and administrators by sending a Letter of Intent or a Letter of Interest.

Listen: An MD/PHD’s Journey to Medicine [PODCAST]  

What is a Letter of Intent vs. a Letter of Interest? 

A Letter of Intent is a formal statement that you would commit to matriculating into a program if you are accepted. A Letter of Interest conveys that you are strongly interested in the program, but it does not indicate any commitment or explicitly state that a program is your first choice.

Both letters should summarize why you believe the program and school are a great fit for your interests and how you will be able to uniquely contribute to the school, in under one page.

Finding Out You’ve Been Accepted!

The day you receive that phone call or email — the one from the MD-PhD program director contacting you to say you have officially been offered acceptance into their program — provides a feeling of joy worth being patient for!

Our Physician Advisors can support you through the application process for your best shot at getting into the school of your choice.

What specialties can MD/PhD graduates earn their PhD in?  

PhD students commonly choose to specialize in topics such as:

  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering

What is the salary range for an MD/PhD graduate? 

MD/PhD graduates can expect an average annual salary of about $100K, depending on the type of work and place of employment.

What is the difference between a PhD and a Postdoctorate? 

A Postdoctoral Fellowship is a temporary period of mentorship and research training for graduates with doctoral degrees, offered by the National Institutes of Health, to acquire skills needed for a chosen career. A PhD thesis must be successfully defended, whereas a postdoc is a non-defendable temporary employment assignment from an organization such as a university.

Can an MD/PhD be a doctor? 

Graduates who earn an MD/PhD are fully qualified doctors and may practice medicine in a clinical setting upon completing their residency training.

Can an MD/PhD graduate be a surgeon? 

While an MD/PhD graduate CAN be a surgeon if they choose surgery specialties in their residency programs, a surgical resident is not required to obtain a PhD in addition to their MD.

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with MedSchoolCoach to learn how we can help boost your chances of success getting into medical school .

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The Accelerated MD/PhD Partnership Training Program

The MD/PhD PartnershipTraining Program is designed to encourage the success and development of students pursuing a future as physician-scientists in basic and translational biomedical research. The program fosters innovative and interdisciplinary PhD partnerships in an accelerated setting with a completion time of approximately four years. Scholars enrolled in this program have the opportunity to take advantage of the unique resources available at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the NIH Clinical Research Center and the many options for collaboration provided by the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP).

There are opportunities available for students who have just finished their Bachelor’s degrees and are looking to apply to medical school, students who are currently enrolled in medical school, and students who are currently in the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP).

  • Prospective Students

Current Students

How to Apply

The first step in the application process is to determine whether you are eligible for the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program. The second step is to identify which of the three tracks apply to you. The third step is to apply to the appropriate track. More detailed information about eligibility requirements and the application process is listed on the individual track pages.

Choose Track 1 if you plan on attending medical school BEFORE you begin PhD research

Have you already started medical school? If so, you are a Track 2 applicant.

Choose Track 3 if you don't plan on attending medical school BEFORE you begin PhD research

Now in its 16th year, the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program has grown to a population of well over 50 aspiring young scientists at 35 U.S. medical schools. We can proudly admit the current cohort of NIH MD/PhD Scholars are involved in some of the most cutting edge biomedical research endeavors being conducted in the world.

The MD/PhD Program leadership want to ensure that you have a place to get the information that you need. Please review the below information for resources to help you navigate through your training. 

The NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program

The NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program (OxCam) can accommodate students seeking combined MD/PhD training for a career as a physician-scientist. Students admitted to the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program conduct research in the NIH intramural research program as part of a coordinated plan of dual-degree training with a U.S. medical school. Students may combine medical school training with the NIH OxCam PhD program via one of three academic tracks.

Go to NIH OxCam

MD-PhD Degree Programs by State

New section.

Combined MD-PhD degree programs provide students the opportunity to earn both the MD and the PhD in areas pertinent to medicine.

Combined MD-PhD degree programs provide students the opportunity to earn both the MD and the PhD in areas pertinent to medicine. Below is a list of schools offering a combined MD-PhD degree, with links to their web sites. Please contact the institutions directly for curriculum information and admission requirements. School administrators may contact [email protected]  with any omissions or corrections to this listing.

University of Alabama School of Medicine Birmingham, Ala.

University of South Alabama College of Medicine   Mobile, Ala.

University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson, Ariz.

University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix Phoenix, Ariz.

University of Arkansas College of Medicine Little Rock, Ark.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine   Loma Linda, Calif.

Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, Calif.

University of California, Davis School of Medicine   Davis, Calif.

University of California, Irvine School of Medicine   Irvine, Calif.

University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine   Los Angeles, Calif.

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine   La Jolla, Calif.

University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine   San Francisco, Calif.

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California   Los Angeles, Calif.

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center   Denver, Colo.


University of Connecticut School of Medicine   Farmington, Conn.

Yale University School of Medicine   New Haven, Conn.

District of Columbia

Georgetown University School of Medicine   Washington, D.C.

Howard University College of Medicine   Washington, D.C.

University of Florida College of Medicine   Gainesville, Fla.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine   Miami, Fla.

University of South Florida College of Medicine   Tampa, Fla.

Emory University School of Medicine   Atlanta, Ga.

Medical College of Georgia   Augusta, Ga.

Morehouse School of Medicine   Atlanta, Ga.

Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University Augusta, Ga.

Loyola University of Chicago - Stritch School of Medicine   Maywood, Ill.

Northwestern University Medical School   Chicago, Ill.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science - Chicago Medical School   North Chicago, Ill.

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (MTSP)  Chicago, Ill.

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (MD/PhD) Chicago, Ill.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine   Chicago, Ill.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Medicine   Urbana, Ill.

Indiana University School of Medicine   Indianapolis, Ind.

University of Iowa College of Medicine   Iowa City, Iowa

University of Kansas School of Medicine   Kansas City, Kan.

University of Kentucky College of Medicine   Lexington, Ky.

University of Louisville School of Medicine   Louisville, Ky.

Louisiana State University, New Orleans School of Medicine   New Orleans, La.

Louisiana State University, Shreveport School of Medicine   Shreveport, La.

Tulane University School of Medicine   New Orleans, La.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine   Baltimore, Md.

National Institutes of Health Intramural MD-PhD Partnership   Bethesda, Md.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences   Bethesda, Md.

University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine   Baltimore, Md.


Boston University School of Medicine   Boston, Mass.

Harvard Medical School   Boston, Mass.

Tufts University School of Medicine   Boston, Mass.

University of Massachusetts Medical School   Worcester, Mass.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine   East Lansing, Mich.

University of Michigan Medical School   Ann Arbor, Mich.

Wayne State University School of Medicine   Detroit, Mich.

Mayo Medical School  Rochester, Minn.

University of Minnesota Medical School   Minneapolis, Minn.


University of Mississippi School of Medicine   Jackson, Miss.

Saint Louis University School of Medicine   St. Louis, Mo.

University of Missouri - Columbia School of Medicine   Columbia, Mo.

University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine   Kansas City, Mo.

Washington University School of Medicine   St. Louis, Mo.

Creighton University School of Medicine   Omaha, Neb.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine   Omaha, Neb.

University of Nevada School of Medicine   Reno, Nev.

New Hampshire

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth   Hanover, N.H.

Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School   Newark, N.J.

Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School   Piscataway, N.J.

University of New Mexico School of Medicine   Albuquerque, N.M.

Albany Medical College   Albany, N.Y.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University   Bronx, N.Y.

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons   New York, N.Y.

Hofstra North Shore - LIJ School of Medicine Hempstead, N.Y.

Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program   New York, N.Y.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine   New York, N.Y.

New York Medical College   Valhalla, N.Y.

New York University School of Medicine   New York, N.Y.

SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine   Buffalo, N.Y.

SUNY at Stony Brook Health Sciences Center   Stony Brook, N.Y.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine   Brooklyn, N.Y.

SUNY Upstate Medical University   Syracuse, N.Y.

University of Rochester School of Medicine   Rochester, N.Y.

North Carolina

Wake Forest School of Medicine   Winston-Salem, N.C.

Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University   Greenville, N.C.

Duke University School of Medicine   Durham, N.C.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine   Chapel Hill, N.C.

North Dakota

University of North Dakota School of Medicine   Grand Forks, N.D.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine   Cleveland, Ohio

Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine   Rootstown, Ohio

Ohio State University College of Medicine   Columbus, Ohio

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine   Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Toledo College of Medicine   Toledo, Ohio

Wright State University School of Medicine   Dayton, Ohio

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center   Oklahoma City, Okla.

Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine   Portland, Ore.


Drexel University College of Medicine   Philadelphia, Pa.

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University   Philadelphia, Pa.

Penn State University College of Medicine   Hershey, Pa.

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine   Philadelphia, Pa.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine   Pittsburgh, Pa.

Temple University School of Medicine   Philadelphia, Pa.

Rhode Island

Brown University School of Medicine   Providence, R.I.

South Carolina

Medical University of South Carolina  Charleston, S.C.

University of South Carolina School of Medicine   Columbia, S.C.

South Dakota

University of South Dakota School of Medicine   Vermillion, S.D.

East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine   Johnson City, Tenn.

Meharry Medical College School of Medicine   Nashville, Tenn.

University of Tennessee, Memphis College of Medicine   Memphis, Tenn.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine   Nashville, Tenn.

Baylor College of Medicine   Houston, Texas

McGovern Medical School at UTHealth/MD Anderson Cancer Center/University of Puerto Rico Tri-Institutional Program   Houston, Texas

Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center College of Medicine College   Station, Texas

Texas Tech University School of Medicine   Lubbock, Texas

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston   Galveston, Texas

University of Texas Health San Antonio, Long School of Medicine   San Antonio, Texas

University of Texas, Southwestern Med Center - Dallas   Dallas, Texas

University of Utah School of Medicine   Salt Lake City, Utah

University of Vermont College of Medicine   Burlington, Vt.

Eastern Virginia Medical School   Norfolk, Va.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine   Richmond, Va.

University of Virginia School of Medicine   Charlottesville, Va.

University of Washington School of Medicine   Seattle, Wash.

West Virginia

Marshall University School of Medicine   Huntington, W.Va.

West Virginia University School of Medicine   Morgantown, W.Va.

Medical College of Wisconsin   Milwaukee, Wisc.

University of Wisconsin Medical School   Madison, Wisc.

McGill University Faculty of Medicine   Montreal, Quebec

McMaster University of Faculty of Health Sciences   Hamilton, Ontario

Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty of Medicine   St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Universite de Montreal Faculte de Medecine   Montreal, Quebec

Universite de Sherbrooke Faculte de Medecine   Sherbrooke, Quebec

Universite Laval Faculte de Medecine   Quebec, Quebec

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry   Edmonton, Alberta

University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine   Calgary, Alberta

University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine   Vancouver, British Columbia

University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine   Winnipeg, Manitoba

University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine   Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine   Toronto, Ontario

University of Western Ontario   London, Ontario

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Information on how to become a research physician, also known as a physician-investigator or a physician-scientist.

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When I was in college, I was in a premed “bubble” a lot of the time. I took many of my courses and labs alongside hundreds of other aspiring physicians. I would see the same people throughout my academic day, and sometimes even outside of the lecture hall. Because of this, I unintentionally overheard conversations […]

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Research Lunches

In the spring of their first year and the fall of their second year, MD-PhD students at Tri-I attend the weekly series Researches Lunch speaker series. Designed as an informal setting in which to meet faculty members, students share a meal with a different PI each week and chat about their research interests. As a more loosely structured companion to the Frontiers in Biomedical Science sequence, the Research Lunches offer students the opportunity to get to know different fields of research in a social and relaxed setting.

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Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry

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Dear Colleagues:

After conducting an extensive national search, we are pleased to announce that Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, will serve as the next chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and Psychiatrist-in-Chief of the NewYork-Presbyterian campus at CUIMC. His appointments are effective August 15, 2024.

This appointment is a homecoming for Dr. Gordon, a respected neuroscientist, psychiatrist, educator, and administrator with an international reputation. He currently serves as the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Chief of the Integrative Neuroscience Section at the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Gordon joined the Columbia psychiatry faculty in 2004 following completion of his medical residency and research fellowship at Columbia. During his first tenure in the department, he directed an active, NIH-funded research program in basic neuroscience relevant to mental illness, taught students and residents, and maintained a part-time practice in clinical psychiatry. Dr. Gordon also served as associate director of the Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, where he oversaw the neuroscience curriculum and administered research programs for residents, including the Leon Levy Foundation Psychiatric Neuroscience Fellowship Program.

In September of 2016, Dr. Gordon was appointed director of NIMH, where he oversees an institution of more than 1,000 employees and a $2 billion annual budget, developed national scientific priorities in mental health research, and expanded efforts to support and mentor early career scientists from diverse backgrounds. He will continue in this role through June 14, 2024. Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on the analysis of neural activity in mice carrying mutations of relevance to psychiatric disease. His lab studied genetic models of these diseases from an integrative neuroscience perspective and employed a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo imaging, anesthetized and awake behavioral recordings, and optogenetics. His research has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression. Dr. Gordon is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (2018). He earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of California, San Francisco.

The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry has a long and illustrious history. It is among the largest psychiatry departments in the country in terms of faculty size and research support and routinely ranks among the top institutions for psychiatry in national rankings. Past and present members of the department have been at the forefront of the specialty and have made major contributions to both clinical care and research of mental illness. Historical milestones of the department include the earliest use of lithium in the United States, the first data describing a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, and the development of DSM-III, DSM III-R, and DSM-IV. We look forward to Dr. Gordon’s leadership in continuing the legacy of this great department.

We thank Helen Blair Simpson, MD, PhD, and Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, MD, for serving in interim leadership roles of the department. Our additional thanks go out to Olajide Williams, MD, MS, and the search committee for their due diligence in recommending Dr. Gordon to lead psychiatry at Columbia, NYSPI, and NYP.

Please join us in welcoming Josh back to Columbia, NYSPI, and NYP and wishing him well in these important roles.

Katrina Armstrong, MD Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Steven J. Corwin, MD President and Chief Executive Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian

Ann Marie T. Sullivan, MD Commissioner, New York State Office of Mental Health

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Howard Chang, MD, PhD

The Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor in Cancer Research and professor of dermatology and of genetics has received Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Prize for Science in biology. The prize is in recognition of Chang’s work in uncovering the significance of long non-coding RNAs in gene regulation and his collaborative efforts in advancing genome-wide methodologies to identify DNA regulatory regions. The prize includes a certificate written in Arabic Diwani calligraphy and signed by the chairman of the prize board, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Bin Abd Al-Aziz, along with a 24-carat, 200-gram gold medal and a $200,000 grant.

Howard Y. Chang, MD, PhD

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L.E.K. Consulting

Link to lek – phd/md/pharmd program – virtual – 2024.

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Link to LEK PhD/MD/PharmD Program

Date: April 29 – May 1, 2024

Apply by: March 10, 2024

Program Overview

Link to L.E.K. is an immersive program for PhDs, MDs and PharmDs designed to provide participants with an in-depth view of life sciences strategy consulting and more specifically, the Life Sciences Specialist (LSS) role. This program will be held virtually and will feature opportunities to:

  • Learn more about L.E.K. as a firm and the type of work we do
  • Gain hands-on experience working through a simulated case with Life Sciences Consultants and present findings to senior management
  • Network with all levels of Life Sciences staff

Participants will receive an accelerated invitation to final round interviews for Life Sciences Specialist roles.


L.E.K. seeks highly motivated, creative, and entrepreneurial candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled in a top PhD / post-doc, MD or PharmD program within the Life Sciences (e.g., biology, pathology, chemical engineering, etc.)
  • Interested in pursuing full-time consulting opportunities in 2025
  • High degree of comfort with quantitative analysis
  • Outstanding record of academic achievement, notable extracurricular interests, and demonstrated leadership and initiative

Application Process

Please submit a resume and cover letter describing your interest in the program by March 10, 2024.

Selected candidates will be invited to a virtual case interview the week of March 25, 2024 and program invites will be extended by early April.

L.E.K Consulting is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Connect with us:

Contact us: 9a-5p, M-F | 134 Mary Gates Hall | Seattle, WA 98195 | (206) 543-0535 tel | [email protected]

The Division of Student Life acknowledges the Coast Salish people of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot Nations. Student Life is committed to developing and maintaining an inclusive climate that honors the diverse array of students, faculty, and staff. We strive to provide pathways for success and to purposefully confront and dismantle existing physical, social, and psychological barriers for minoritized students and communities. We engage in this work while learning and demonstrating cultural humility.

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NIST Releases Version 2.0 of Landmark Cybersecurity Framework

The agency has finalized the framework’s first major update since its creation in 2014..

  • NIST’s cybersecurity framework (CSF) now explicitly aims to help all organizations — not just those in critical infrastructure, its original target audience — to manage and reduce risks.
  • NIST has updated the CSF’s core guidance and created a suite of resources to help all organizations achieve their cybersecurity goals, with added emphasis on governance as well as supply chains.
  • This update is the outcome of a multiyear process of discussions and public comments aimed at making the framework more effective.

Two roads lead to the 6-sectioned ring graphic representing the CSF’s six functions.

More roads lead to NIST’s updated cybersecurity framework, which now features quick-start guides aimed at specific audiences, success stories outlining other organizations’ implementations, and a searchable catalog of informative references that allows users to cross-reference the framework’s guidance to more than 50 other cybersecurity documents.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has updated the widely used Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), its landmark guidance document for reducing cybersecurity risk. The new 2.0 edition is designed for all audiences, industry sectors and organization types, from the smallest schools and nonprofits to the largest agencies and corporations — regardless of their degree of cybersecurity sophistication. 

In response to the numerous comments received on the draft version , NIST has expanded the CSF’s core guidance and developed related resources to help users get the most out of the framework. These resources are designed to provide different audiences with tailored pathways into the CSF and make the framework easier to put into action. 

“The CSF has been a vital tool for many organizations, helping them anticipate and deal with cybersecurity threats,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio. “CSF 2.0, which builds on previous versions, is not just about one document. It is about a suite of resources that can be customized and used individually or in combination over time as an organization’s cybersecurity needs change and its capabilities evolve.” 

The CSF 2.0, which supports implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy , has an expanded scope that goes beyond protecting critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and power plants, to all organizations in any sector. It also has a new focus on governance, which encompasses how organizations make and carry out informed decisions on cybersecurity strategy. The CSF’s governance component emphasizes that cybersecurity is a major source of enterprise risk that senior leaders should consider alongside others such as finance and reputation. 

“Developed by working closely with stakeholders and reflecting the most recent cybersecurity challenges and management practices, this update aims to make the framework even more relevant to a wider swath of users in the United States and abroad,” according to Kevin Stine, chief of NIST’s Applied Cybersecurity Division. 

Following a presidential Executive Order, NIST first released the CSF in 2014 to help organizations understand, reduce and communicate about cybersecurity risk. The framework’s core is now organized around six key functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover, along with CSF 2.0’s newly added Govern function. When considered together, these functions provide a comprehensive view of the life cycle for managing cybersecurity risk.

The updated framework anticipates that organizations will come to the CSF with varying needs and degrees of experience implementing cybersecurity tools. New adopters can learn from other users’ successes and select their topic of interest from a new set of implementation examples and quick-start guides designed for specific types of users, such as small businesses, enterprise risk managers, and organizations seeking to secure their supply chains. 

An image of a road with different NIST CSF resources labeled along the path

A new CSF 2.0 Reference Tool now simplifies the way organizations can implement the CSF, allowing users to browse, search and export data and details from the CSF’s core guidance in human-consumable and machine-readable formats.

In addition, the CSF 2.0 offers a searchable catalog of informative references that shows how their current actions map onto the CSF. This catalog allows an organization to cross-reference the CSF’s guidance to more than 50 other cybersecurity documents, including others from NIST, such as SP 800-53 Rev. 5 , a catalog of tools (called controls) for achieving specific cybersecurity outcomes.

Organizations can also consult the Cybersecurity and Privacy Reference Tool (CPRT), which contains an interrelated, browsable and downloadable set of NIST guidance documents that contextualizes these NIST resources, including the CSF, with other popular resources. And the CPRT offers ways to communicate these ideas to both technical experts and the C-suite, so that all levels of an organization can stay coordinated. 

NIST plans to continue enhancing its resources and making the CSF an even more helpful resource to a broader set of users, Stine said, and feedback from the community will be crucial. 

“As users customize the CSF, we hope they will share their examples and successes, because that will allow us to amplify their experiences and help others,” he said. “That will help organizations, sectors and even entire nations better understand and manage their cybersecurity risk.” 

The CSF is used widely internationally; Versions 1.1 and 1.0 have been translated into 13 languages, and NIST expects that CSF 2.0 also will be translated by volunteers around the world. Those translations will be added to NIST’s expanding portfolio of CSF resources. Over the last 11 years, NIST’s work with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in conjunction with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), has helped to align multiple cybersecurity documents. ISO/IEC resources now allow organizations to build cybersecurity frameworks and organize controls using the CSF functions. NIST plans to continue working with ISO/IEC to continue this international alignment.


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  1. Considering an MD-PhD program? Here's what you should know

    There are fewer MD-PhD programs, and they accept fewer students than traditional MD programs. According to a recent survey conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)—"The National MD-PhD Program Outcomes Study"—in 2016 there were 1,936 MD-PhD program applicants, 649 matriculants and 602 graduates.

  2. Applying to MD-PhD Programs

    MD-PhD Application Timeline. AMCAS application opens: May preceding the year of expected entry. Applicants interviewed: October-March. Final decisions sent to applicants: December-March. Applicants revisit program (s) to decide where to matriculate: March-April. MD-PhD programs start: June-August. Are you considering a MD-PhD program?

  3. MD-PhD Programs: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

    MD-PhD programs are designed to be completed in 7 to 8 years. A minority of students complete the program in 6 or 10 years. Years 1-2 will be spent mostly on completing medical school coursework. Years 3-6 will consist mostly of PhD research. Years 7-8 will be spent mostly completing clinical rotations.

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    How long does training take? The MD-PhD career path is a commitment, as training to complete both MD and PhD degrees takes about 7 or 8 years. How do I pay for a MD-PhD program? Most programs offer financial support, including stipends, tuition waivers, and health insurance to help students cover the cost of their scientific and medical training.

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    1. You need strong MCAT scores and a high GPA. If your grades and scores aren't where they need to be, address it before you apply! Check out these admissions stats for MD-PhD matriculants to U.S. medical schools from 2016-2017: Average MCAT Scores and GPAs for MD-PhDs. MCAT CPBS.

  6. Harvard/MIT MDPhD Program

    Funding. The Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program at Harvard Medical School (HMS) has been sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through its Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) since 1974. All MD-PhD student applicants to our program compete on equal footing for MSTP support, regardless of scientific interest.

  7. PDF Generic FAQ for MD-PhD Program Applicants

    How long does it take to complete both degrees? The goal is to complete an MD-PhD program in 7 or 8 years. Numbers from across the ... MD-PhD programs vary in size enormously - from smaller programs that take 1 or 2 students per year and might have a total enrollment of a dozen, to very large programs

  8. MD-PhD Programs: The Definitive Guide

    The MD-PhD program allows you to obtain a dual degree in both medicine and research to become what is known as a physician-scientist or medical scientist. After graduation, students will receive a combined MD/PhD degree with advanced, hands-on research training and expertise in a particular field of their choice.

  9. What It's Like to Do an MD-PhD Program

    Sreya: One of the most important aspects to consider for MD-PhD students is the idea that this path is a marathon, not a sprint. There is a lot of temptation to overload on clubs, leadership, research, etc., to keep pace with MD colleagues, but in the long run, an MD-PhD is about the quality and depth of training.

  10. MD-PhD Timeline < MD-PhD Program

    During the summer following their 6 months of Integrated Clinical Clerkships, MD-PhD students study for and take USMLE Step I. There is also time to complete an additional research rotation, if necessary, and to take a vacation. The Step 1 exam must be taken by December 31 of Year 3. Students meet with their Director of Graduate Studies to ...

  11. MD/PhD Programs: Right for You? Best Programs & FAQ

    How Long Are MD/PhD Programs? The MD-PhD dual degree takes approximately 7-8 years of coursework to complete, followed by an additional 3-7 years of residency to be eligible to practice medicine. Generally, MD coursework is emphasized in years 1-2, followed by research training in years 3-5, and ending with medical training and clinicals in ...

  12. Frequently Asked Questions

    The MSTP is a combined effort between the MD program and the PhD programs. All trainees are required to fulfill all requirements for both the MD and PhD degrees. The single exception is the MD program requirement for a Scholarly Concentration. For dual degree MD-PhD students, the PhD substitutes for this requirement.

  13. Welcome to the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program

    Welcome to the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program " Training the next-generation of premier and diverse physician-scientist leaders " Welcome! Program Overview, Loren Walensky, MD-PhD Program Director. Support our Students! The Linda Burnley Fund for MD-PhD Education at Harvard and MIT.

  14. MD-PhD

    The Doctorate of Medicine and of Philosophy (MD-PhD) is a dual doctoral degree for physician-scientists, combining the professional training of the Doctor of Medicine degree with the research expertise of the Doctor of Philosophy degree; the Ph.D. is the most advanced credential in the United States. Other dual degree programs exist, such as the joint MD-JD degree; both the JD ...

  15. Is an MD/PhD program right for me? Advice on becoming a physician

    Now there are ∼90 active MD/PhD programs that admit anywhere from a few students per year to 25 or more. The average size of an MD/PhD program in 2017 was ∼90 students in all stages of training. Compared with the many thousands who apply to medical school in each year, only 1900 (∼3%) apply to MD/PhD programs.

  16. Frequently Asked Questions

    MD/PhD programs provide training in both medicine and research for students who want to become a physician-scientist. MD/PhD graduates often go on to become faculty members at medical schools, universities and research institutes such as the NIH. MD/PhD trainees are prepared for careers in which they will spend most of their time doing research ...

  17. Harvard/MIT MDPhD Program

    Funding. The Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program at Harvard Medical School (HMS) has been sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through its Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) since 1974. All MD-PhD student applicants to our program compete on equal footing for MSTP support, regardless of scientific interest.

  18. MD-PhD Program < MD-PhD Program

    We hope that you will become part of the Yale MD-PhD family, and join us in celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2020! With warm regards, Barbara Kazmierczak, MD PhD. Professor of Medicine & Microbial Pathogenesis. Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation MD-PhD Program Director. Our mission is to provide students with integrated ...

  19. PDF MD-PhD: What, Why, How

    MD-PhD Programs: Are a great way to acquire specialized training in the medical sciences. Provide tremendous support throughout medical and graduate school training. Require lots of forethought and preparation to apply: Significant, longitudinal research experience(s) Recommendation letters from research advisors.

  20. MD/PhD Program

    Contact Us. NYU Grossman School of Medicine's MD/PhD program office is located at 550 First Avenue, Medical Science Building, Suite 257. If you would like more information about our curriculum or other aspects of the graduate program, including admissions, email us at [email protected], or call 212-263-5648.

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    The Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program Daniel C. Tosteson Medical Education Center 260 Longwood Avenue, Suite 168 Boston, MA 02115 Phone: 617-432-0991 [email protected]

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    The MD/PhD PartnershipTraining Program is designed to encourage the success and development of students pursuing a future as physician-scientists in basic and translational biomedical research. The program fosters innovative and interdisciplinary PhD partnerships in an accelerated setting with a completion time of approximately four years.

  23. MD-PhD Degree Programs by State

    Combined MD-PhD degree programs provide students the opportunity to earn both the MD and the PhD in areas pertinent to medicine. Below is a list of schools offering a combined MD-PhD degree, with links to their web sites. ... Long School of Medicine San Antonio, Texas. University of Texas, Southwestern Med Center - Dallas Dallas, Texas. Utah.

  24. First Year Research Lunches

    The Lunch Series is a way to introduce first and second year MD-PhD students to the Tri-I Program faculty. These lunches provide a venue for informal, yet insightful, conversations between students and faculty, to learn about their backgrounds, career paths and research. With weekly lunches for first year students scheduled throughout the spring and for second year students in

  25. Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry

    Dr. Gordon is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (2018). He earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of California, San Francisco. The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry has a long and illustrious history.

  26. Robert N. Taylor, MD, PhD

    ASRM mourns the recent death of long-time member Dr. Robert Neal Taylor of Buffalo, NY, who passed away on Monday, January 22, 2024, at the age of 71. Dr. ... Dr. Taylor received his undergraduate education at Stanford University and completed the combined MD-PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine. His graduate work was on the molecular ...

  27. Howard Chang, MD, PhD

    The Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor in Cancer Research and professor of dermatology and of genetics has received Saudi Arabia's King Faisal Prize for Science in biology. The prize is in recognition of Chang's work in uncovering the significance of long non-coding RNAs in gene regulation and his collaborative efforts in advancing genome-wide methodologies to identify DNA regulatory ...

  28. Link to LEK

    Link to LEK PhD/MD/PharmD Program. Date: April 29 - May 1, 2024 Apply by: March 10, 2024 Program Overview. Link to L.E.K. is an immersive program for PhDs, MDs and PharmDs designed to provide participants with an in-depth view of life sciences strategy consulting and more specifically, the Life Sciences Specialist (LSS) role.

  29. NIST Releases Version 2.0 of Landmark Cybersecurity Framework

    A new CSF 2.0 Reference Tool now simplifies the way organizations can implement the CSF, allowing users to browse, search and export data and details from the CSF's core guidance in human-consumable and machine-readable formats.. In addition, the CSF 2.0 offers a searchable catalog of informative references that shows how their current actions map onto the CSF.