MD-PhD Students and Clerkship Requirements

Summary Points

  • Effective with the entering class of 2010, all students must complete 6 months of clerkships prior to beginning their thesis work.
  • Survival Fair must be completed before beginning clerkships.
  • Step I of the Board must be taken prior to beginning clinical rotations and before beginning research.

All MD-PhD students have a total of 55 weeks of clerkship requirements, which is the same number of clerkships requirements as MD students. The only difference is timing of the completion of these requirements. MD and MD-PhD students will complete these requirements at different times during their medical school enrollment.

  • MD/PhD students must complete 6 months of clerkships prior to beginning their thesis work. Any exception to this policy will have to be authorized by Dr. Jamieson or Dr. Gorelick. The clinical exposure, which is provided by the 6 months of clinical rotations, will facilitate the student's ability to integrate basic science with clinical medicine.
  • In order to pursue any clerkships, students are required to complete the 1 ½ week "Tran-si-tion" For those students taking the 6 months of clinical rotations prior to starting their thesis work, "Tran-si-tion"is completed during June of that year, immediately after finishing the second year of medical school.
  • Each MD/PhD student must take Step I before beginning clinical rotations and before beginning research. Step I can be taken at any time during the 2nd year of medical school.

If an MD-PhD student is interested in completing the third year of medical school before beginning the Ph.D. work, special permission must be obtained from the MD-PhD Program. This exception will generally pertain to students whose Ph.D. programs require that they attend classes that are only offered in the fall semester (i.e. students affiliating in EPH).

Only in extraordinary circumstances are students allowed to break up their thesis work with clinical rotations. The MD-PhD Program does not encourage its students to begin their thesis work at the end of the first year of medical school because they will not have had a chance to do rotations between the 1st and 2nd year, which is important in deciding upon a mentor and a Ph.D. project. In addition, there are clinical programs that require continuity between the 1st and 2nd year.