Training Sequence

Each student tailors an individualized course of study by combining the HST or New Pathway MD curriculum with a PhD-granting graduate program at Harvard or MIT in consultation with their advisors and the program director. A typical training sequence for a student who spends eight years in the program is illustrated below:

Year 1 MD-PhD summer course, first lab rotation/mentored research followed by first year of medical school classes; become affiliated with graduate program of choice and take a graduate course or two if possible; choose next lab rotation.
Year 2 Summer lab rotation/mentored research, second year of medical school classes; apply formally to PhD program of choice; complete Step 1 of the Boards; choose thesis advisor.
Year 3 Do an anchoring clinical rotation (optional) prior to starting graduate school full-time; concentrate on fulfilling requirements for the PhD degree; complete Preliminary Qualifying Examination; pursue thesis research.
Year 4 Complete final graduate courses and complete Preliminary Qualifying Examination if necessary, and work full-time on thesis research.
Year 5 Continue full-time thesis research; present poster at annual MD-PhD Retreat.
Year 6 Give oral presentation of research at annual MD-PhD Retreat; complete thesis research, defend dissertation and receive the PhD degree; take the Longitudinal Course in Clinical Medicine (LCCM) as a transition back to clinical clerkships; seek permission to continue work on PhD if additional year is needed.
Year 7 Meet core clinical clerkship requirements through the Principal Clinical Experience (PCE); complete Step 2 of the Boards.
Year 8 Continue clerkships and take clinical electives; participate in residency match; do further research (optional); MD degree graduation.

Updated: October 25, 2013