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Case Discussion Rounds

Associate Program Director Dr. Mark Pecker, MD runs a series of biweekly clinical case-based seminars for MD-PhD students in their research years. The goal of these seminars is to provide students in their research years the opportunity to further develop their skills in clinical reasoning and thus help them maintain familiarity with clinical medicine.

The Case Discussion Rounds are formatted after a program initially developed by a former Memorial Sloan Kettering faculty member, Bernd Gänsbacher, MD, now emeritus at Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich). 

Case Discussion Rounds

In each CDR session, one student presents a clinical case to a group of their peers without the group having prior knowledge about the case. The student presenter provides the group with the following information: chief complaint, history of present illness, social history, and findings on physical exam. The group discusses key findings, as they are presented, in their attempts to decipher the etiology of the patient's signs and symptoms.

The group is then charged with asking the student presenter for laboratory tests and providing an explanation for why they are ordering a specific test. The results of the tests are presented and a differential diagnosis is generated. A final diagnosis is proposed after any additional information has been provided. The student presenter then provides some teaching points about the case, and is asked to delineate key questions that remain unresolved regarding the disease at hand, and the implications these questions have for the treatment of patients and for future clinical investigation. This follow-up discussion usually touches on topics at the frontier of biomedical science, befitting the group's focus on becoming future physician-scientists.

The seminar's focus on pathophysiology, and Dr. Pecker's unrelenting emphasis on mechanisms, are key to the success of the Case Discussion Rounds, as Dr. Pecker helps guide the group discussion by focusing and redirecting the (sometimes meandering) line of questioning. 

Creative thinking is encouraged and expected!

In past years, the AMCAS verification process has taken up to eight weeks. Access to the secondary application will not be sent to the applicant until the AMCAS is verified. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible. Please make sure all other parts of the application (letters of recommendation) are submitted so that the admissions committee can review the application as soon as it is verified and the secondary is submitted.

With a rapidly evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, these dates are given tentatively, and we encourage applicants to check back frequently for updates and to contact the MD-PhD Program Office with any questions.

Important Dates (2020-2021)

AMCAS Available
May 4, 2020
MD-PhD Application Deadline (AMCAS Primary Application)
September 28, 2020
MD-PhD Application All Materials Must Be Complete By
October 27, 2020
Virtual Admission Interview Dates*:
October 22-23, 2020
 
November 5-6, 2020
 
November 19-20, 2020
Admission Decisions Made:
Mid December 2020
Revisit Day(s):
TBA
Accepted Applicants Must Select “Plan to Enroll” 
on the Choose Your Medical School tool:
April 30, 2021
Accepted Applicants Must Select “Commit to Enroll” 
on the Choose Your Medical School tool:
TBA
First Year MD-PhD Class Begins:
July 1, 2021

*All interviews for this application cycle will be held remotely.

MD-PhD Applications

Please note that the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program follows the Application and Acceptance Protocols established by the AAMC. 

The Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program Interview Days are listed above. If you are applying to the program, you are strongly encouraged to keep these dates open on your calendar until you hear from us regarding a final decision. As we only have three pairs interview days, rescheduling is discouraged.

MD-PhD applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their applications as early as possible. Items that typically hold an application from achieving a complete status include letters of recommendation and the medical college's secondary form. Access to the medical college's secondary form is only emailed to applicants whose applications are verified by AMCAS. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure their file is complete.

Successful applicants will have excellent undergraduate science preparation, substantial undergraduate research experience, and a strong commitment to combining an investigative career in the biomedical sciences with clinical medicine.

Because of the increasing diversity of the United States population, there is a national need for physician-investigators who are members of underrepresented minority groups and other disadvantaged groups. The Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program therefore encourages applications from students who are members of under-represented minority groups, from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are disabled. (We recognize that some applicants may belong to more than one of these categories.)

Successful applicants must satisfy the requirements of both the medical and the graduate components of the Program, and all matriculants must satisfy the requirements in the Medical College's Technical Standards policy.

After initial screening, selected candidates will be invited to attend one of the Program's three interview days, where they will meet selected faculty within the Program.

Technical Standards

Successful applicants must satisfy the requirements of both the medical and the graduate components of the Program, and all matriculants must satisfy the requirements in the Medical College's Technical Standards policy. Read more about the WCM Technical Standards here