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Thursday, 27 November 2014
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Year 1: In their first year at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, MSTP trainees are immersed in an integrated curriculum which includes both graduate coursework (biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics, and/or other courses) as well as the first year medical school curriculum. This first year begins with an accelerated MSTP Histology course during the summer preceding the medical and graduate academic terms. In addition to this histology course, an integrated MSTP Physiology course and an accelerated MSTP Clinical and Developmental Anatomy course allow for the first year MSTP trainee to take graduate school courses while completing the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's first year medical school curriculum.

An advisor, who is responsible for overseeing the progress of the MSTP trainee, is assigned to each student upon arrival. The student and advisor discuss the choice of research rotations from the over 230 laboratories in 12 degree granting departments available to the MSTP trainee. MSTP students can also perform their thesis research in clinical research programs via the PhD in Clinical Investigation run by the Einstein-Montefiore Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. These rotations take place during the first and second summers, and give the student valuable opportunities to learn new skills and identify a field of science that is of interest for thesis work.

Year 2: After their second summer, having completed the first year medical and graduate school curricula and several lab rotations, MSTP trainees devote themselves to the second year medical school curriculum and preparation for the first step of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE Step 1).

Years 3-5: During their second year, MSTP trainees select a PhD advisor. Ph.D. mentors must be members of the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Candidates for the MD/PhD degree may pursue laboratory research in any of the College's degree granting departments. In conjunction with their mentor, students develop their thesis projects and and choose the remainder of their elective graduate coursework to fit individual needs and research interests. The next three to four years are devoted to the performance of the research which constitutes the PhD thesis.

Years 6-7: After defending the PhD dissertation, students engage in intensive clinical study. They must complete the required five core clinical clerkships (medicine, ob/gyn, pediatrics, psych, surgery) and a sub-internship (medicine, pediatrics, or adolescent medicine). Additional elective clinical courses can be arranged depending on individual student’s interests. Further information is available on the medical school clinical curriculum site. The close proximity of the Weiler and Jacobi hospitals, where many clerkships are performed, to the basic science buildings allows for continued interaction with the preclinical faculty during these final months. MSTP trainees graduate with both PhD and MD degrees, and most continue to pursue careers in academic biomedical research at the finest institutions in the country.

The integration of medical and scientific training and the independent curriculum for the Einstein MSTP is unique. While other schools will push students through the labors of becoming both a doctor and a scientist, they usually do so separately, through a medical school curriculm and a graduate school curriculm. Thus, they may never accomplish the goal of bridging the gap between medicine and science.

Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. © 2014. Almost all rights reserved.
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