The mission of the University of Washington Medical Scientist Training Program (UW MSTP) is to prepare the next generation of physician-scientist leaders to solve existing and still unforeseen threats to human health. Since our program was established in 1970, we have trained 237 MD/PhD graduates. Our graduates are actively engaged in research, with many in leadership positions at medical schools, research institutes, government, and industry. Several graduates have had particular impact on advancing the frontiers of biomedical science and technology. Our MSTP is a partnership of the UW and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), with participation also from Seattle Children?s Research Institute, the Center for Infectious Disease Research, and the Benaroya Research Institute. Our MSTP training integrates professional medical education in highly diverse clinical settings with graduate biomedical research opportunities across a wide range of disciplines. The UW and FHCRC are exceptionally strong in genome sciences, immunology, cancer research, global health, bioengineering, and computational science; these disciplines are also favorites of our students for their PhD work. Innovative aspects of our program include a preclinical course integrating human anatomy with whole genome sequencing, a new medical curriculum incorporating active learning and ?flipped classrooms,? clerkships offered across five states of the Pacific Northwest, and a recent MD/PhD training partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. An experienced leadership team and highly dedicated cohort of 67 collaborative and well-funded faculty members supervise training. Our program benefits from strong institutional commitment and financial support from both UW and FHCRC, with ongoing major expansion of research and teaching facilities. We receive more than 500 applications annually and accept approximately 20 applicants, targeting a class size of about 10 entering students per year.
We aim for students to complete both degrees in approximately 8 years. The program currently comprises 83 students, of whom 37% are female (consistent with MSTP national averages), 20% are from backgrounds under-represented in medicine (nearly double the national average), and 5% have disabilities. Average time to completion of both degrees is now 8.36 years and on a shortening trajectory, with minimal attrition of 5% (compared to 10% nationally). Of eligible trainees, 45% have received independent NIH F30 fellowship awards, with a success rate of 85%. Based on their PhD work, our graduates publish an average of 6.3 total papers, including 2.8 as first author and many are in top tier journals. Of our graduates, more than 93% go on to competitive residencies, primarily in Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pathology; 7% continue with postdoctoral training in basic science. We propose to build on our program?s success and to continue to develop innovative approaches for training new generations of physician-scientists.
The goal of this program is to train a diverse cohort of physician-scientists capable of bridging the gap between basic scientific research and its translation to clinical practice. During their training, students have made important contributions to medical science, helping to improve the health of all people. After graduation, trainees continue to advance medical knowledge and its application, as they assume leadership positions distributed throughout the biomedical research workforce.
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