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
MD/PhD Candidate Jennifer Chung 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.

Dedication to Diversity

The MD/PhD program at UConn Health is fully dedicated to making an environment that is inclusive and accepting of all of our students. To this end, we value diversity in all its forms, and encourage people of all backgrounds to apply to join our community of learning.

We believe that having a wide range of lived experiences adds value to the discussions we have with one another.  As future healthcare providers and researchers, understanding differences in lifestyles and cultures help us provide the best care for our patients.  The program works towards having a diverse environment to encourage dialogue and strengthen our understanding. Through this, we aim to add diverse and culturally competent physician-scientists to the work force.

We also emphasize outreach to underrepresented communities in our surrounding area through a variety of programs. These programs provide mentorship and education about the career paths in science and medicine, including physician-scientists. Through these, we aim to spread awareness and encourage diversity in the science and medical field in the future.

We welcome you to explore the many ways in which the UConn MD/PhD program, the School of Medicine, and the Graduate School work to ensure that UConn is a safe and welcoming environment for all. We also ask you to reach out to us with any questions about the MD/PhD program’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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 M Delta 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 M Delta 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.

 

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.

Check our our Instagram!

A big congratulations to all SIX students from the program who went above and beyond in their scientific endeavors to successfully defend their Ph.D. projects this past spring! 🎓✨🔬
#uconnmdphd #physicianscientist #mdphd
...

All the very best 🍀 to our second year students who are currently tackling their USMLE Step 1 exam! And congratulations to those who have already finished!
You are almost done with the didactic portion of medical school and will *step* into graduate phase very soon! 🕺🏻🪩🔬

#uconnmdphd #physicianscientist #mdphdtobe
...

Contact Information

MD/PhD Program Director
Kim Dodge-Kafka, Ph.D.
Email: dodge@uchc.edu

MD/PhD Program Co-Director
Emily Germain-Lee, M.D.

MD/PhD Program Co-Director
Yanlin Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

MD/PhD Program Associate Director
Carol Pilbeam, M.D., Ph.D.

MD/PhD Executive Committee Chair
Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

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