We are requesting continued funding of the Medical Sciences Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). Core philosophies that have shaped the program are (1) the rigor and caliber of both MD and PhD training should be equivalent to those of single degree candidates;(2) students learn from one another;and (3) graduates, albeit to variable degrees, will be engaged in translational research. Three physician-scientists of the School of Medicine and Public Health, each of whom is active in research, graduate training, and clinical activities, direct the MSTP. A student organization works closely with the directors. Directors are advised by the MSTP Steering Committee, which includes faculty from multiple disciplines and ensures that the MSTP exploits the breadth of training opportunities available to students at UW-Madison. The usual student does the preclinical phase of medical training while becoming acquainted with research methodologies in a four-semester seminar/journal club course and participating in research rotations. Research mentors and graduate programs are chosen in the second year. A clinical bridging curriculum facilitates the transitions between medical and graduate studies. All students are introduced to clinical research. Clinical clerkships are done after completion of the Ph.D. thesis. Although the majority of student theses are in the biological and chemical sciences, a significant number of students are doing research in clinical investigation, on population-based problems, or in engineering. Students produce substantial dissertations that result in important publications. Activities that foster program cohesiveness include the strong student organization, a weekly seminar, yearly retreat, yearly symposium, and regular social gatherings. To have an interactive and dynamic group of students, we are aiming for a class size of ten students for an overall program size of 80 students. Our long-term goal is to train a diverse group of physician-scientists who will have major impact on biomedical research and the practice of medicine and be future academic and research leaders.
The overall goal of the Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) is to train physician-scientists in the broad range of research areas critical to advancing frontiers of medical knowledge and therapeutics. Integrated MD/PhD programs, by immersing trainees in research during what are arguably their most impressionable and creative years, are a key component of our country's portfolio to provide such training and fit perfectly the missions of UW-Madison and its School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH). UW-Madison consistently ranks as one of the top 20 research universities in the world and is especially well known for graduate education and contributions to society. Research and education related to biomedicine are carried out in a large number of departments, centers, and programs inside and outside of the SMPH that are integrated, collaborative, and span the many disciplines that will improve the health of our nation and world.
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