Program Overview

Stephanie Varela and Ram Savan 2The University of Washington Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is a dual degree MD/PhD program between the School of Medicine and UW Research. Only MD/PhD programs funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) receive an “MSTP” designation.

With the mission of training future physician-scientists to work in academic medicine, UW MSTP students spend time as a medical student and as a graduate student. Regardless of the program phase, they will always be an MSTP student.

The program’s goal is to train scientists with both a broad knowledge in medicine and the ability to productively investigate detailed mechanisms associated with human diseases.

The program emphasizes continuity between the curricula of clinical and basic sciences and is designed for students with a strong interest in research.

MSTP Timeline:

Summer before medical school: First lab rotation
Academic year 1: Medical school year 1
Summer after year 1: Second lab rotation
Academic year 2: Medical school year 2
January-March of year 2: USMLE Step 1 /Begin PhD studies
Years 3 to 6: PhD research. PhD awarded at the end of this period.
Years 7 and 8: Medical school clerkships. MD awarded at the end of this period.
Typical time in the program is 8 years.