More than 100 medical schools offer a combined M.D./Ph.D. program. (For a full list of schools, visit the National Association of M.D./Ph.D. Programs) Students who pursue M.D./Ph.D. degrees are primarily interested in biomedical research, although they may hope to teach and/or have a limited clinical practice.
Completion of both degrees generally takes 6 - 8 years. The most common format is 2 years of medical school training; 3 years for Ph.D. research and dissertation; and 1 - 2 years for completion of medical school requirements.
Students who are interested in applying to M.D./Ph.D. programs must have substantial research experience and strong academic credentials, particularly in science.
Students must request an application from the M.D./Ph.D. Program Office at each medical school. The application is submitted in addition to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and secondary applications. Two sets of committee letters and/or recommendations must be sent - one to the M.D./Ph.D. Program Office and one to the medical school admission office. Applicants are then invited for interviews and asked to talk about their research experiences in detail.
Those who are admitted are generally awarded funding for medical school tuition and a stipend; however, some schools only offer support for the Ph.D. portion of the program. Several institutions have Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP) that are funded by the National Institute of General Medical Studies.