The Emory MSTP prepares highly gifted and motivated students to pursue careers as physician-scientists and leaders in biomedical research. The seven to eight year training process leads to both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The M.D./ Ph.D. Executive Committee, comprised of institutional leadership representing the many academic units involved in training, is responsible for oversight of the program. Selection of applicants is highly competitive and is made by the M.D./ Ph.D. Admissions Committee after extensive evaluation of prior scholarship and research experience, review of letters of recommendation, and in-depth interviews to assess motivation and determine the potential for success as physicians-scientists. The program allows for flexibility in program affiliation, as wel as the sequence and duration of clinical or research training, but most trainees pursue the following course of study. Students engage in laboratory research in the summer prior to the first year of Medical School. Following the Foundations phase of Medical School, each trainee begins his/her graduate training in advanced study. Trainees pursue dissertation research in a variety of outstanding graduate programs, including any of eight interdisciplinary training programs in the Emory Graduate School Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, in the Biomedical Engineering Program offered by the unique combined Department of Biomedical Engineering of Georgia Tech/Emory, in new programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology offered by the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, or in one of several other scientific disciplines offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Each trainee completes at least 14 months of clinical training after defending his/her thesis. The dramatic expansion of the research and clinical infrastructure at Emory and increased institutional support has facilitated the successful growth and development of the MSTP.
The relevance of physician scientist training programs is the recognition of the fundamental importance of interdisciplinary research and training in both clinical medical sciences and disease pathology and the elucidation of disease mechanisms through basic research. It has become apparent that the traditional segregation of analytical approaches to solving biomedically relevant problems is most fertile when integrated analyses involving diverse technologies across multiple disciplines occur. The Emory MSTP is perfectly situated to engage such a diverse training philosophy and has a long history of doing so.
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