Dual Degree M.D./Ph.D. Program
The goals of the M.D./Ph.D. Program are:
- to prepare physician-scientists to become accomplished health care providers and investigators with problem-solving knowledge and skills
- to train physician-scientists in the conduct of clinical and translational research in culturally diverse settings
- to develop future leaders in academic health care and biomedical research
To apply for the M.D./Ph.D. Program, applicants must submit a completed and verified application using the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) prior to the application deadline. Applicants who also seek to be considered for admission into the M.D. program at the Long SOM must also submit an application using the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS) prior to the application deadline. The precise deadlines for these applications vary, but for the AMCAS application, the deadline is typically on November 1 of the year preceding enrollment.
The Long SOM Admissions Committee has full and final authority for all students admitted to the M.D. program. The M.D./Ph.D. subcommittee of the Long SOM Admissions Committee will assist the M.D./Ph.D. Program with reviews, interviews, assessments, and selections of potential applicants. The members of the M.D./Ph.D. subcommittee present at deliberations will approve applicants on behalf of the entire Long SOM Admissions Committee.
The M.D./Ph.D. Program is seven to nine years in length. Students usually begin with two years of the preclinical curriculum in the Long SOM. After successful completion of USMLE Step 1, they enter a three- to five-year Ph.D. program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), after which they return to the Long SOM for two years of clinical rotations. With the guidance and approval of the M.D./Ph.D. dean and M.D./Ph.D. Program Steering Committee, students select laboratory rotations, graduate program affiliation in one of several Ph.D. disciplines or programs, and a Supervising Professor from the graduate school faculty throughout the institution. Enrichment activities include a monthly “Bench-to-Bedside” course, two annual M.D./Ph.D. retreats, a M.D./Ph.D. journal club, several clinician-scientist competencies workshops, and a clinical refresher course to provide smooth transition from graduate school into the remaining clinical years. Opportunities exist for student research during the fourth year of medical school. With completion of this program, M.D./Ph.D. graduates are prepared for careers as dual-degree physician-scientists.
The M.D./Ph.D. Program is under the supervision of the M.D./Ph.D. program directors, deans of the Long SOM and the GSBS, and the M.D./Ph.D. Steering Committee. The M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee, with representation from the Long SOM and GSBS, provides direction and oversight of all activities of the M.D./Ph.D. Program and advises the M.D./Ph.D. program directors. The M.D./Ph.D. Steering Committee provides strategic planning and oversight of financial support of the M.D./Ph.D. Program. An independent M.D./Ph.D. Program Promotions Board reviews the progress of M.D./Ph.D. students every six months throughout medical and graduate school enrollment. Progression is assessed on the basis of academic performance, USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2CK/UMSLE Step 2CS scores, research rotation reports, research and scholarly activities, evaluations from the Supervising Professor, and student self-assessments. Recommendations from the M.D./Ph.D. Promotions Board are reviewed at the next monthly meeting of the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee.
The M.D./Ph.D. Program expects students who are pursuing the dual degree to maintain standards of academic excellence, to progress in a timely fashion toward both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, and to maintain professionalism. Students will be subject to the academic guidelines and progression policies of both the Long SOM and the GSBS. However, they will be subject to additional requirements as specified by the M.D./Ph.D. Program in order to remain members of that program. The M.D./Ph.D. Program provides for stipend, tuition and fees during the entire course of studies (M.D. and Ph.D.) for students in good standing in the program.
Students in the M.D./Ph.D. Program must satisfactorily achieve milestones and criteria established by the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee and the Long SOM Student Progression and Promotions Committee (SPPC) policies. Failure to meet or achieve the established standards will result in denial of advancement and dismissal from the M.D./Ph.D. Program. A student's academic standing and ability to progress with respect to either the Long SOM or the GSBS are administered through the appropriate dean's office or their designees. M.D./Ph.D. students shall have the right to appeal a decision of dismissal from the program. The appeal may be heard by the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee or the Long SOM SPPC based on the body taking dismissal action. Solely on procedural concerns can a student appeal to a higher institutional administration.