MD-PhD, Is it Right for Me?

Paul Insel, University of California, San Diego

Neil Chi, University of California, San Diego

Mary Lewinski, University of California, San Diego

Andrea Dickey, University of California, San Diego


This session will demystify the physician scientist career and the application process to pursue an MD-PhD degree. It will be presented by members of the MD-PhD GREAT Section of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The presentation focuses on common features of MD-PhD training programs. Topics will include information on the careers of MD-PhDs, how students train to become MD-PhD physician-scientists, how to apply to MD-PhD training programs, and credentials of competitive applicants. The session includes time for Q&A, including advice from MD-PhD students attending the meeting. This session took place at the 2019 ASCB|EMBO Meeting in San Diego, CA.


  1. Learn how undergraduates and post baccalaureates should prepare for MD-PhD training.
  2. Gain an understanding of the application process and interviewing for MD-PhD training programs.
  3. Learn about MD-PhD student training programs and what typical MD-PhD training programs and timelines are like.
  4. Learn what types of students matriculate into MD-PhD programs, and what careers MD-PhD graduates pursue.

Part of the “What Cell Biology Career is Right for You?” Video Series

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About the Author:

This post was collaboratively written by several ASCB staff members.