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Doctor of Medicine Thesis

Formal MD Thesis Requirement

All students at Yale School of Medicine engage in research and are required to write an M.D. thesis during medical school. The only exceptions are students who have earned a Ph.D. degree in the health sciences before matriculation and students enrolled in Yale's M.D.-Ph.D. program.

The YSM M.D. Thesis is under the governance of the YSM Thesis Committee, which meets regularly to recommend policy to the Curriculum Committee for all aspects of the Thesis requirement. Specifically, rules, regulations, and deadlines are established. The Committee also serves as the Thesis Awards Committee, acting as a reviewing body to determine oral presentations at Student Research Day, graduation thesis prizes and guidelines for the awarding of prizes.


Student Research & the M.D. Thesis

All students at Yale University School of Medicine must engage in research during medical school, with the exception of students who have a Ph.D. degree before matriculation. A wide choice of subjects for research is permitted. Students may choose basic laboratory projects or may investigate clinical, epidemiologic or sociologic (including medicine and humanities) topics. Publications in the literature may serve as the source of data for research.

A close working relationship between the student and a faculty research mentor is a major goal of this program and is strongly encouraged. When laboratory research is performed, it is the responsibility of the faculty advisor to provide all necessary space, equipment and supplies. If the project is concerned with clinical or epidemiological investigation, the same commitment to guidance and support is expected. Weekly conferences between student and faculty research mentor are encouraged during the course of the research. The research must be designed and specifically performed by the student with the advice of the faculty mentor. Students may not work jointly on a research project.

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (YJBM) was founded in 1928 under the initiative of Dean of the Medical School as a place for Yale medical students to publish their original research. The journal became a training ground for medical students, later graduate students, and faculty to familiarize themselves with the inner workings of a scientific journal.

YJBM is an internationally-distributed, rigorously peer-reviewed and PubMed-indexed journal that has a long history of publishing landmark articles including pieces from philosophers, statesmen, scientists, and physicians such as Harvey Cushing, Ernst Cassirer, Rene Dubos, Edward Kennedy, Donald Seldin, Franklin Epstein, Jack Strominger, Dorothy Horstmann, Ira Mellman, John R. Paul, and Albert Sabin.

YJBM is an open-access journal dedicated to the publication of original research articles, scientific reviews, articles on medical history, personal perspectives on medicine, educational scholarship, policy analyses, case reports, and symposia related to biology and medicine. The journal is published quarterly and aims to publish articles of interest to both physicians and scientists. Its Editorial Board is composed of a unique mix of medical students, nursing students, PA students, and graduate students from nearly all of the tracks in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Each September, YJBM publishes the abstracts of award-winning Yale medical student theses. The journal strongly encourages medical students who are doing research to consider submitting review articles or original research, with the permission of or in collaboration with their faculty advisors. To learn more about the journal or to submit a manuscript please visit its website: https://medicine.yale.edu/yjbm/