The curriculum combines study toward the Ph.D. and M.D. degrees with integration and flexibility, usually requiring 7 to 8 years to complete.
A typical pathway through the program is outlined as follows:
Summer Year 1 - Optional Research Rotation (June-July)
Fall, Winter, Spring Year 1 - First year medical school with some graduate level coursework. Medical School classes run approximately from the first week of August until the beginning of May. Graduate Level Biochemistry (Biological Chem 552) is taken during the fall term. Research is optional.
Summer Year 2 - Research Rotation #1 (~10 weeks)
Fall, Winter, Spring Year 2 - Second year medical school runs from mid-August until the end of April; this includes taking USMLE Step 1 in April. Continuation of research is optional.
After completion of the second year of medical school, there are two possible pathways, "Traditional" and "Less Traditional."
Spring Year 2 through Summer Year 3 - Research Rotations #2 and #3, ~10 weeks each (or begin thesis laboratory research after Rotation #2).
Fall Year 3 through Summer Year 7 - Graduate classes; Ph.D. thesis research and defense (the length varies depending on the Ph.D. research); optional outpatient and inpatient clinical opportunities.
Summer Year 7 through Winter Year 8 - Clinical refresher tutorial. Then, third year and truncated fourth year of medical school (18 months total; month of entry is flexible - see below) and USMLE Step 2.
Less Traditional Pathway:
Spring Year 2 through Summer Year 3 - First two to three months of the third year of medical school.
Fall Year 3 - Research Rotations #2 and #3, ~10 weeks each (or begin thesis laboratory research after Rotation #2). Graduate classes.
Winter Year 3 through Fall Year 7 - Graduate classes; Ph.D. thesis research and defense (the length varies depending on the Ph.D. research); outpatient and inpatient clinical opportunities to solidify knowledge from the first 2-3 months of the third year medical school curriculum.
Fall Year 7 through Winter Year 8 - Clinical refresher tutorial. Then, finish third year and truncated fourth year of medical school (18 months total; month of entry is flexible - see below) and USMLE Step 2.
The University of Michigan MSTP has many special academic features, including:
- The MSTP curriculum is integrated.
- Graduate level Biological Chemistry 552 is taken during the first year of medical school.
- Medical school classes substitute for equivalent graduate level classes.
- Fellows who so desire can undertake two to three months of third year medical school clinical rotations before starting the Ph.D. thesis research, to help maintain medical continuity during graduate school training.
- During the Ph.D. years, fellows have the option of maintaining clinical exposure by attending outpatient clinics and the inpatient hospital.
- At the end of the Ph.D. years, all fellows participate in a clinical refresher tutorial prior to entering the third year of medical school.
- Guidance is provided at all stages of training.
- Each MSTP fellow has a Research Rotation Advisory Committee that helps the fellow select research rotation mentors.
- Luncheons are held with new faculty to provide an opportunity for the MSTP fellows to meet those faculty and learn about their research interests.
- A Career Advisory Panel, consisting of about 120 University of Michigan faculty who hold both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, provides career guidance and counseling.
- The MSTP curriculum is flexible to meet individual needs.
- Graduate school course requirements are adjusted based upon prior training, educational needs and goals.
- Fellows can enter the third year of medical school any month during the first half of the academic year. This flexibility helps fellows complete the program in a timely and efficient manner, as the month of completion of the Ph.D. thesis varies.
- Third and fourth year clinical rotation scheduling can be adjusted to meet the needs of fellows who begin the third year at non-standard times.
- The MSTP has a group event every month, including seminars, social events, and our annual retreat. These are described in Events and Seminars.