Medical Scientist Training Program

Navigating the Final Two Years in the MD-PhD Program

(aka the "penultimate year” (which typically includes defending and returning to clinics), and “MS4” (graduation year).

typical schedule

During the final two years of the program, students typically do the following:

  • Finish the dissertation and defend
  • Make any necessary dissertation revisions and tie up any loose ends in lab
  • Prepare to return to clerkships (studying; participating in “refresher” activities)
  • Complete remaining core clerkships
  • Take clinical electives
  • Apply for and interview for residency
  • Complete other graduation requirements (step 2 CS and CK; CSI; bioethics)
  • Do additional research (in thesis lab or elsewhere)

tips and resources

While everyone's path through these final two years is individualized, there are some common tips and resources offered through the links below:

topics related to longer term future

And for topics related to the longer term future like “the bridge years”, see the Planning for the Future page.