Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU SOM) has provided outstanding MD/PhD training since 1956. The program has a strong track record with many alumni with distinguished research careers, including two Nobel laureates. The NIH-funded CWRU Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) was started in 1975 (T32 GM07250) and has 89 current students. The curriculum integrates scientific and clinical instruction in all three phases: both PhD and MD course work during the first two years, substantial personalized clinical instruction as well as research during the PhD years, and clinical clerkships, clinical electives and research electives in the final phase. Criteria for acceptance include superior academic performance and evidence of strong commitment and skills for research. Acceptance by the MSTP automatically admits a student to the SOM and any of the 13 MSTP-affiliated PhD programs. PhD mentors provide individualized research training. All active mentors have established training records and are well supported by NIH research grants or other funding sources. Research and clinical training occurs at CWRU and affiliated institutions (University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Veteran's Administration Medical Center). These sites are well equipped for cutting edge research and state of the art clinical training. All CWRU MSTP students receive full financial support for stipend, tuition and health fees for all phases of the program (8 years mean duration), and the program provides laptop computers and travel awards for students to attend national research meetings. Numerous MSTP-specific program activities supplement the PhD and MD curricula. The program emphasizes development of leadership skills through student governance, faculty mentoring, and student-led program activities.
Overall, the program integrates clinical and scientific training of physician scientists in basic and translational biomedical sciences; trainin in these areas can then be applied to a wide range of basic, translational and clinical research. Our mission is to train MD-PhD students for outstanding careers in biomedical research to fill the national need for future physician-scientists.
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