Students in the UC Davis Physician Scientist Training Program must fulfill the requirements for both the M.D. and the Ph.D. degrees. Students apply to graduate programs at the beginning of their 2nd year of medical school.
The typical PSTP student will enter medical school and complete the first two years of the pre-clinical curriculum, including a summer research rotation between years 1 and 2. After taking USMLE Step 1 students begin their Ph.D. training in the graduate program of their choice. The completion of the Ph.D. graduate program typically takes four years. PSTP students are expected to write fellowship applications (e.g. F30) during their first year in graduate school. After completion of the Ph.D. degree requirements and thesis submission, the PSTP student enters a structured transition into the clinical training stage of medical school, subsequently completing years 3 and 4 of the medical school curriculum. Most of our PSTP students complete the dual degree program in 8 years.
Longitudinal PSTP activities include a monthly journal club and annual colloquium with the Veterinary Science Training Program (D.V.M./Ph.D.), an annual PSTP retreat, continuing clinical preceptorships throughout the graduate years, and the annual medical school Poster Day. Each student receives continued guidance from an assigned PSTP Advisor with whom the PSTP student creates and semiannually updates an Individual Development Plan (IDP). PSTP students are also encouraged to attend academic conferences and to participate in networking events sponsored by the Physician Scientist Training Program Student Interest Group (PSTP SIG).