Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

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A Course of Study

CD 1

Students arrive at the Tri-Institutional campus just after July 4th, when they begin their first research rotation. This first rotation lasts until Medical College Orientation.

Students explore different laboratories to decide where they will do their second summer research rotation, between Year 1 and Year 2. Students are guided by the Research Advisory Committee, which is composed of the Program Director, two Associate Directors, and a faculty member from each of the participating institutions.The first year curriculum is similar to that for Weill Cornell Medical College MD students. In addition to the Medical College courses, MD-PhD take a graduate-level course designed specially for MD-PhD students, Frontiers in Biomedical Science I, which is a research article-based course that introduces the students to modern developments in biomedical research, as well as an Introduction to Clinical and Translational Research.

CD 2

The second year curriculum again is similar to that for Weill Cornell Medical College MD students, with the addition of Frontiers in Biomedical Science II. The classroom teaching ends in December, and MD-PhD students study for and take USMLE Step 1 early in the spring semester of CD 2. They then complete 18 weeks of clerkship training, which may include a Pathology elective.

Again, students will explore laboratories in preparation for their research rotation(s) during the summer after CD2 with guidance from the Research Advisory Committee.

CD 3-6

Students are expected to complete their thesis research, write, and defend their thesis during the next two to three years (CD 4-6). Given the structure of the Medical College curriculum, MD-PhD students are encouraged to begin their final clinical training in November-January of the year they defend their thesis.Students should be in their thesis laboratories by September of CD 3, and satisfy their remaining graduate school requirements during this year. They will write and present a Thesis Research Proposal early in CD 4, at which point they can focus solely on their thesis research.

Students are encouraged to explore clinical career options, which are designed to strengthen the ties between the basic research and clinical problems.

CD 6-7

Students complete their clinical training, apply for post-graduate training, and take USMLE Step 2. They also have about six months to do additional research and clinical electives.