MD/PhD Program

MD/PhD Candidate Jennifer Chung wearing lab coat and goggles in the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine smiling, working in an anaerobic chamber

UConn’s MD/PhD program provides students with an intellectually stimulating and highly integrated educational experience leading to completion of both the MD and PhD degrees. With many alumni matched to highly competitive residencies, the UConn MD/PhD program prepares its graduates for successful careers in both medicine and science.

Mission

The mission of our MD/PhD program is to prepare individuals of outstanding potential for productive careers as physician-scientists. The program emphasizes the development of skills necessary to become a highly competent and caring physician and to perform, evaluate, and communicate the results of independent research in the biomedical sciences.

Furthermore, we strongly believe in the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and medicine.  Essential to this is our giving opportunities for students of all backgrounds including underrepresented minority groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with disabilities. We are committed to provide individualized support for students from underrepresented or underprivileged backgrounds.

Our program is dedicated to high quality medical and graduate education tailored to the needs of the individual student. We are a close-knit community of students, faculty, and staff. Collegiality and mentorship are key aspects of the program.

Program Structure

MD/PhD students matriculate for the first 18 months with the regular MD students before they pursue their graduate studies, taking four years to complete their PhD, and then return for clinical clerkships. During the first two years, in addition to completing the preclinical requirements of the medical school curriculum, students pursue select graduate school coursework and two to three laboratory rotations. Incoming MD/PhD students  have the option to complete their first laboratory rotation the summer before matriculation.

MD/PhD Program Timeline. 18 Months Stage 1 "Exploration", Step 1, Typically 4 Years Graduate Phase; Clinical Reintegration, 11 Months Stage 2 Clinical Immersion, 1 Months Stage 3 Advanced Clinical. Clinical Longitudinal Immersion in the community (CLiC) overlaps the entire timeline.

There is an emphasis in continuity of clinical education, providing opportunity to practice clinical skills on patients from the start of medical school and throughout the graduate phase, better preparing students to excel in clinical rotations. Students remain actively involved in the program during all phases of their training via weekly research club, symposiums, leadership opportunities, and other events.

As part of the longitudinal clinical experience, students are required to continue clinical activities in community service clinics or in specialty clinics for a half day per month during the graduate phase in order to maintain their clinical skills. Following successful completion of requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students return to medical school to complete two years of clinical training.

For a full breakdown of program structure, see our page on the mDelta Curriculum for MD/PhD Students.

Medical Education

UConn School of Medicine is one of the nation's leading public medical schools, featuring a modern, case-based learning curriculum, early clinical experience, and  state-of-the-art facilities for clinical simulation, virtual and cadaverial anatomy education

MD/PhD students engage in UConn School of Medicine's industry-leading mDelta curriculum.

Learn more about UConn School of Medicine's Curriculum. 

Graduate Education

 

During the graduate phase, students pursue intensive thesis research in one of seven areas of concentration (AOC) in biomedical science and complete additional coursework required by their AOC. The Biomedical Science AOCs are:

Cell Biology Neuroscience
Genetics & Developmental Biology Skeletal Biology and Regeneration
Immunology Systems Biology
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic MedicineFront view of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine on a Sunny Day

 

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) offers collaborative research training opportunities for our students in mammalian genetics and genomic medicine on our UConn Health campus. Our students have the option to complete lab rotations and perform their Ph.D. thesis research with a JAX faculty member at the Jackson Laboratory on our Farmington, CT campus at UConn Health, if the JAX faculty member has an appointment as a faculty member of the UConn Graduate School. Learn more about  the cooperative PhD program and JAX-GM here.

 

Facilities

Students

External Fellowship Awards

Although a tuition waiver and full stipend funding are guaranteed through the entire length of our program, most of our students succeed in obtaining  fellowship grants such as NIH F30 and American Heart Association awards. We provide extensive support for trainee grant applications including a mock study section with senior faculty members to prepare our students for success. To read about some of our current student fellowships success stories, read our MD/PhD Student Blog.

Residency Placement

Our students routinely match to physician-scientist training programs (PSTPs) and other competitive residencies in a broad range of specialties all over the country. For more details, check out our MD/PhD Program Fact Sheet and MD/PhD Student Blog.

To learn more about the success of our our past and current students, see our MD/PhD Student Blog, Student Profile Page, and MD/PhD Program Fact Sheet.

Applications

Applicants should have substantive research experience, a strong academic record, and prior clinical exposures. Applicants must complete the online AMCAS application, indicate on their application that they are applying to the UConn MD/PhD program, and complete the MD/PhD essay. Learn more about applying to the UConn PhD Program here.

Check our our Instagram!

Today at our weekly MD/PhD research club, we had a series of 5-minute flash talks from 3rd year students on the subject of their summer lab rotation research. 3rd year student @jinh___d took the the time to sketch out quick cartoons of the projects during the presentations! Can you guess what the subjects were?

#mdphd #medicine #science #research #doodles #sketch #sketchbook #art #doctor #doubledocs
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Check out our new blog post on MD/PhD candidate Bruce Rheaume’s publication in the scientific journal Nature Communications, “Single cell transcriptome profiling of retinal ganglion cells identifies cellular subtypes.” This work serves as a basis for better understanding cellular diversity in the central nervous system while also pointing to new targets for regenerative therapies. Link in bio!
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#uconn #uconnhealth #mdphd #md #phd #student #gradschool #medschool #medicine #research #science #spinalcordinjury #regenerativemedicine #published #doubledocs
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We would like to congratulate our very own Jennifer Chung for winning a prestigious F30 award funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for her project, “Uncovering interactions of the gut microbiome with the immune system in the context of immune checkpoint inhibitors”. Jenn is currently a 6th year MD/PhD student in Dr. George Weinstock’s lab. Read more about her work and interests in the blog post, linked in our bio! #mdphd #uconn #uconnhealth #medicine ...

Congrats to Dr. Grace Kwon @kwongrace on successfully defending your thesis, “Investigating the function of highly expressed long noncoding RNA in bronchial epithelium”, this past spring! We are so excited for you as you start your medical clerkships and enter the last phase of your training here at UConn! #uconnhealth #mdphd ...

Congrats to Dr. Michael Chung @mschung1992 on a successful thesis defense this past spring! We wish you the best of luck as you re-enter your medical school training! #mdphd #uconnhealth #doubledoctor ...

As summer rolls in, MD/PhD students are taking time for themselves while socially distancing. Annie Yao (G1) stands at the peak of Cascade Mountain next to Lake Placid, NY. ...

Congratulations to UConn MD/PhD 2020 graduates, Albert Yu and Joseph Ryan! Dr. Yu will be doing an Internal Medicine Research Track Residency at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, and Dr. Ryan will be entering a transitional year at the Eastern CT Health Network, followed by a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at UConn Health. We are so proud of you, and look forward to all your future accomplishments! ...

Contact Information

Program Director
Carol Pilbeam, Ph.D., M.D.
Phone: 860-679-5158
Email: pilbeam@uchc.edu 

Co-Director
Kimberly Dodge-Kafka, PhD
Email: dodge@uchc.edu

 

 

Program Administrator
Ms. Tracy Dieli
Phone: 860-679-2487
Email: dieli@uchc.edu 

Mailing Address
M.D./Ph.D. Program
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3906
Email: mdphd@uchc.edu