The goal of the University of Michigan Medical Scientist Training Program is to train physician scientists primarily for careers in academic medicine with a focus on basic biomedical research. Such individuals are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between basic and clinical medicine, and hence to connect basic discoveries to improvements in human health. The U of Michigan Medical Center is one of the world's largest one-site complexes devoted to health education, research and patient care. There are over 2.6 million sq ft of space dedicated to education and laboratory research. The Michigan MSTP provides an integrated curriculum of M.D./Ph.D. training. Matriculants have a strong history of academic success and research experience, and are graduates of outstanding colleges from all parts of the U.S. There are currently 82 trainees and 141 graduates. The curriculum begins with the two basic science years of medical school. A graduate level biochemistry course is taken as part of the 1st year of medical school. Trainees undertake a research rotation after the 1st year of medical school and one or two rotations after the 2nd year. Trainees select a Ph.D. field during the 2nd year of medical school;core participating departments include Bioinformatics, Biological Chemistry, Biophysics, Cell &Developmental Biology, Cellular &Molecular Biology, Chemical Biology, Human Genetics, Immunology, Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology &Immunology, Molecular &Cellular Pathology, Molecular &Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology. Other fields are possible;for example, currently there are trainees in several departments in our Schools of Engineering and Public Health. Trainees take a leave of absence from medical school typically after the 2nd year or after the first 3 months of the 3rd year to continue graduate studies full time. Trainees can participate in clinical preceptorships during their research years. Upon successful completion of the thesis defense, trainees complete their clinical training. The 3rd year of medical school can be entered any month within the first half of the academic year to accommodate variations in thesis defense dates, and the 4th year of medical school is truncated to 20 weeks. Total training is typically 7 to 8 years. There are monthly program activities including seminars, social events and an annual scientific retreat.
Trainees receive both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in a medically-relevant field of research. Program graduates are optimally prepared to establish research-based careers in which the goal is to improve the public's health.
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