During your years in the UW MSTP, you’ll participate in UW SOM & UW Graduate School courses along with MSTP specific coursework designed to integrate your clinical and research years.  Students typically complete the program in 8 years.

Years 1& 2 MSTP Specific courses include:

Genomic Dissection
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A medical student’s first patient is a cadaver. During the dissection, students ordinarily learn normal anatomy and gain an appreciation for the individual variation that may differ from the idealized structures presented in textbooks and atlases. Similarly, anatomic changes consequent to illness and leading to death may also be present. In your first year as an MSTP student, you will attempt to use state of the art “next-generation” technology to sequence the genome of a cadaver and gain an appreciation for the structure of the genome, as well as genetic variants responsible for human individualization and disease. Students will participate in the selection of research subjects, extract DNA, perform the sequencing in a supervised research laboratory, participate in data analysis, and propose hypotheses for further research based on initial findings.

Translational Research Topics
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As scientific knowledge and its medical application is not static, it is important that students learn about new developments through peer and faculty presentation of new and interesting research studies and journal articles. This course consists of both literature review and faculty and student presentations of research. The course meets weekly at dinner time throughout the school year. First and second year concurrent degree students each identify and present in “journal club” format one journal article that they find to be of interest. The presenting student leads a critical review and discussion of the manuscript, including background information setting the stage for the article under discussion. Approximately one meeting per month will be held in the setting of a meeting to which the entire MSTP student population, including students in the graduate and clerkship phases of the program, is invited. At these monthly meetings, instead of a presentation about a paper, there will be one student and one faculty speaker who will each present their latest research findings to the group. Course is credit/no-credit and all enrolled students must present a journal article or their research findings to the group.

Years 1 & 2 School of Medicine Foundation Curriculum (sample)




Years 3- 6

Graduate work resulting in your Ph.D.

Note: Some students are able to complete their Ph.D. work in 3 years depending upon their graduate department, mentor, and project.

MSTP Specific courses include:

Patient Centered Translational Research
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This course takes students to the wards and exposes them to clinical problems amenable to research during a phase of training when they are still primarily focused on research. Many successful MD/PhD clinician-scientists have centered their research careers based on clinical issues that they were exposed to early during their training. With the recognition that even just a single particularly challenging or representative patient may motivate translational research investigation, students are asked to prepare a short research proposal based on a clinical issue experienced by a patient that they observed during this class.

7 & 8

Clinical Curriculum

Family Medicine
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This clerkship stresses ambulatory primary care with emphasis on common problems, biopsychosocial issues, preventive care, and introduction to the role of the primary care physician. Students function in the role of a clerk in a community or residency site and participate in the care of patients using office, hospital, home, or community resources.

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This basic clerkship serves as a prerequisite for most other medicine courses and clerkships. Currently this clerkship is divided into 8 weeks of inpatient and 4 weeks of outpatient experience at the Seattle and Spokane sites, and 6 weeks of inpatient and 6 weeks of outpatient experience at other WWAMI sites. Students participate in the care of hospitalized patients to refine their skills of history-taking and physical examinations and to learn to care for the acutely ill. Daily rounds and conferences are held. A written and computer-based patient management examination for this course is given on the last day of the clerkship.

Obstetrics and Gynecology
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This clerkship experience provides an introduction to the comprehensive medical care and counseling services for adult and adolescent female patients. Students are actively involved in both inpatient and outpatient settings with management and delivery of obstetric patients as well as diagnosis and management of gynecologic conditions and diseases. Students participate in hospital rounds on both obstetric and gynecologic patients, in outpatient clinics, in seminars, tutorials, and are introduced to community health care agencies for women.

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This clerkship provides a general introduction to inpatient and outpatient pediatrics. The aim is to expose students to settings where children receive medical and health care services. Approximately half of the six-week experience takes place in an inpatient hospital setting with the other half in an outpatient department, a clinic, or a series of offices.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
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This clerkship provides both outpatient and inpatient experiences. Students have primary responsibility under supervision of attending psychiatrists and residents for diagnosis and care of patients at UWMC, HMC, VAMC, or Boise VA. Emergency room, crisis intervention, consultation appropriate to patients with psychiatric dysfunction; familiarity with psychopharmacology, and short-term hospitalization are emphasized.

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This clerkship introduces the student to the diagnosis and management of problems amenable to surgical therapy. A comprehensive program is offered which includes instruction in the physiological basis of surgical care, differential diagnosis and decision making, and the basic principles of surgical management. Active participation in the care of inpatients and outpatients, including participation in the operating rooms, provides practical experience in the application of these skills. Students will be assigned to the surgical service of one of the major affiliated hospitals. Approximately 40 hours per week is devoted to working with assigned patients on the ward or in outpatient clinics, in the operating room or in study. A series of lectures (required attendance) and/or discussions expand on major topics related to general, vascular, cardiothoracic, and plastic surgery.

Emergency Medicine
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Students work at the level of sub-interns, with senior resident and attending supervision, encountering a wide range of patients, presenting complaints, and levels of acuity, spanning the scope of all specialties and both private and public hospital populations. Learning is primarily through direct patient care experience and bedside teaching, supplemented with lectures and directed readings. Development of the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate and manage multiple patients simultaneously will be emphasized direct patient care experiences, bedside teaching, and readings.

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Students in this clerkship gain a general understanding of basic clinical neurology and to develop neurology exam skills. A combination of inpatient and outpatient experience is the general rule. Available in the 3rd and 4th years; prerequisite for 3rd year students are: medicine, family medicine, surgery, or pediatrics.

Rehabilitation Medicine/Chronic Care
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Students in this clerkship are exposed to four content areas: Rehabilitation Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Palliative & End of Life Care, and Acute and Chronic Pain Management. Students will choose to focus on one content area and will be assigned to a clinical site and preceptor to concentrate their clinical activities in that content area. This clerkship focuses on integrative learning experiences and involves didactic sessions designed around a series of content themes including management of individuals with chronic disease and resultant impairments, disabilities, and prognoses. Didactic sessions emphasize exposure to all four content areas and will include a variety of learning experiences including: lectures, small group discussions, standardized patients, and case presentations.

Surgery Selectives
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These additional four weeks of surgery are designed to allow students to learn more about general surgery or surgical subspecialties in a variety of inpatient and/or ambulatory care settings. Students may select a single 4- week rotation or two 2-week blocks available throughout the WWAMI region, from the approved list of Surgery Selectives.

The remainder of your clerkships are Clinical Elective Clerkships