The MD/PhD program is designed for a limited number of students who are strongly motivated toward a career in academic medicine and medically oriented research. The program trains individuals in the fundamental clinical aspects of medicine and offers advanced training in a specific field of research. Physicians with extensive research training are uniquely positioned to advance medical care and to teach at the cutting edge of medical discovery.
The program also includes an engineering track for qualified students with engineering and biomedical engineering backgrounds.
Students in the MD/PhD program receive a full tuition waiver, a competitive stipend and medical insurance allowance throughout the course of study.
MD/PhD Program Application Procedure
Applications are submitted initially to the medical school through AMCAS. If approved by the medical school initial review, a secondary application will be sent. On the secondary application, there is a box that can be checked to indicate interest in the MD/PhD Program. Checking this box places the application in a separate review group. The applicant should include a personal statement, with a description of research experience and interest, with the secondary application. The applicant should also provide a recommendation letter from at least one individual who is able to assess his or her research capabilities and potential.
The MD/PhD program selects three dates to interview MD/PhD applicants. On these designated dates, no other medical school interviews are conducted.
Interviews for the MD/PhD program span two days and include an orientation to the program, interviews with biomedical graduate faculty and MD/PhD Advisory Committee members, tours of the campuses and research facilities, and interaction with current MD/PhD students. Accommodations are complementary and will be arranged by the MD/PhD program.
The MD/PhD Committee conducts the initial review of all MD/PhD applications. If an applicant is accepted into the MD/PhD program, he/she will automatically be accepted into medical school; no further review by medical school admissions is required. If the applicant is judged as non-competitive for the MD/PhD Program, the application will be reviewed by the Medical School Admissions Committee. An applicant can be accepted by the College of Medicine and not by the MD/PhD Program; applying to the MD/PhD Program cannot jeopardize an applicant's chances of being accepted to the Medical School.
The MD/PhD program offers an exciting and intellectually challenging course of study that students can generally complete in seven or eight years.
During the first two years, students follow the basic medical preclinical curriculum, which includes an expanded Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course. They rotate through a number of research laboratories and in consultation with members of the MD/PhD Advisory Committee, select a mentor for research training in any of the disciplines offering the PhD degree. MD/PhD students can complete their PhD in any of the Biomedical Graduate Studies programs or in Bioengineering.
There are several investigators who participate in the graduate programs in Molecular and Cell Biology and/or Biochemistry who are at Fox Chase Cancer Center, which is a renowned, NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center located in Northeast Philadelphia. Links to the research interests of the faculty can be found on the program web pages.
Available research options are:
The next three to four years focus on individualized advanced coursework, dissertation research and seminars. They culminate in the dissertation defense. Students also attend clinical seminars and presentations to maintain their clinical acuity.
Following the completion of the PhD, students complete the final two years of medical school which involves required and elective clinical rotations, ometimes including additional research
The MD and PhD degrees are awarded simultaneously upon completion of all the requirements.
The following guideline describes the academic policies and procedures pertaining to graduate study in the MD/PhD programs. The booklet contains current standards that are revised periodically by faculty in the MD/PhD program, procedures and general rules of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Studies. The booklet can be downloaded either in PDF format or Word format.
MD/PhD Policies (Adobe PDF format)
Office of Medical Student Research
Citizenship of Applicants
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If the applicant is a permanent resident of the U.S., a copy of the aplicant's green card is required when applying.
The application deadline for the MD/PhD program is November 1.
Jane Azizkhan-Clifford, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry
Director, MD/PhD Program
Drexel University College of Medicine
245 N. 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
2900 Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129