Medical Scientist Program (MSP)
Combined Degree, PhD/MD
The Medical Scientist Program (MSP) at Loma Linda University is designed to attract those students who are energized by doing biomedical research and wish to contribute substantially to this enterprise. The expectation is that graduates of this program will pursue a career in academic medicine and medical research. The program integrates graduate and medical education in a Christian environment and is designed to allow completion of both the PhD and MD degrees.
The program is designed to develop a student's independence and competence as an investigative scientist and clinician by providing students with a broad educational base for the practice of medicine and medically related research. The program is administered by the School of Medicine in cooperation with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Students enter the combined degree program through the graduate program. After two years of study and the demonstration of laboratory success, as indicated by completion of a first-author manuscript, students will continue on to the traditional first two years of the medical school curriculum. Following successful completion of Step 1 of the USMLE examination, students will begin a series of rotations between the clinical sciences and the research laboratory, completing all of the standard clinical rotations as well as the requirements for their PhD degree. In most cases, the sequence should take approximately seven to eight years to complete.
Admittance into the MSP is competitive and requires evidence that students are likely to develop into successful medical scientists. Students must submit separate applications to the School of Medicine for both the PhD and the MD programs and meet the stated admissions requirements for each of these programs. The application package for the PhD program requires scores for the general test of the Graduate Record Exam. Both programs must accept applicants before they are admitted to the Medical Scientist Program. Students who have entered the MD/PhD program who subsequently determine that a research career is inappropriate may elect to complete the MD program independently. Students entering the PhD program who desire a career in academic medicine may choose to apply for admission to the MD/PhD program some time after their entry into the PhD program; however, the standard medical school application process will be required at that point.
Candidates who meet these criteria are offered a complete package of financial support that covers tuition for the medical and graduate programs and a stipend while they are involved in the graduate program.
Application to the PhD program is done online at http://www.llu.edu/apply, and application to the MD program is done through AMCAS. Students should indicate on the AMCAS application that they are applying for the combined program. The preferred deadline for application to the PhD program is January 1. Students must be accepted into both the PhD and the MD programs to begin the Medical Scientist Program. However, students can begin work in the PhD program and later seek acceptance into the MD program.
For additional information, please contact Dr. Penelope Duerksen-Hughes, Medical Scientist Coordinator (909) 558-8740 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Admissions for the School of Medicine (909) 558-4467 can provide information on the MD portion of the application process.