md-phd program requirements

MD-PhD students are expected to function as full time students in the program throughout the MS4 year (eg minimum of 35-40 hours a week).  The program considers a wide range of activities to be acceptable for maintaining full-time student status (and receiving that paycheck!), as long as the student provides monthly updates to the staff. These include all the typical MS4 activities: clinical coursework, preparing residency applications, interviewing, taking step 2, and completing other MD graduation requirements. In addition, we anticipate that nearly all students will Return to Research (R2R) during the MS4 year.  You can do this by extending your thesis work, or by choosing to explore a new topic or type of research, and working with a new mentor. Global health activities are also fine.  The program is pretty much open to anything that is academic in nature, adds up to a full time work load, and fits well with the student’s long term career goals. If a student is interested in an alternate activity of some type (eg an internship or research at another institution), this may also be acceptable but the student must seek approval from the Program Director several months in advance. 

Note that students may hear MD classmates saying that they only need to be registered for activities for two out of every four months.  This is true in terms of formal enrollment as an MD student.  But the requirements for receiving your MD-PhD fellowship and paycheck are continuous full time enrollment.  You are expected to truly be full time throughout all of MS4.  Please complete paperwork for the Registrar’s office to document research or other non-clinical activities.  Of course students are also expected to take some vacation time this year!  A week or two here or there is fine, and it is understood that students who Match outside of Philly will need to time for a housing search in another city in the spring.  But for the most part, MD-PhD students should be in school full time throughout the year.