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Q: What is the structure of the MD-PhD Program?

A: The MD-PhD program follows the general pattern applicable to most MD-PhD programs. The first two years are involved in pre-clinical medical school courses. Many of these courses also count toward graduate credit for the PhD degree. In the summer after the first year, students perform a research rotation under an MD-PhD program research mentor. Research can be undertaken in any eligible graduate lab at the University of Florida. Research rotation opportunities are also available in the summer before the first year. Following completion of the Part I Medical Boards in the summer after the second year, students begin their graduate school years full-time. For those who have not found a laboratory mentor, this second summer is devoted to a second laboratory rotation. In general, the graduate years last for 3-4 years and usually the PhD dissertation is defended before the student returns to the wards for clinical clerkships. The clinical clerkships require 1.5 years and are completed along the usual lines for third and fourth year medical students.

Q: I am in the process of completing my application for the IDP. However, I am unsure of the UF online application process. I was applying for the MD-PhD option and so I completed an online graduate school application as part of the medical school application. I indicated on the application page that I was applying for the MD-PhD option. Do I need to complete the application again or does that carry over to the IDP application?

A: If your objective is to apply for the MD-PhD program, you should not apply to the IDP. You should have indicated on your AMCAS application that you are applying for the MD-PhD program, you should have completed the MD-PhD Essay part of the AMCAS application, and you should apply only for the MD-PhD program through the Office of Admissions. When your application is received and processed in the Office of Admissions, it will go through formal evaluation. If you are invited for an interview for the medical school, the MD-PhD Directorate will be notified so that we can coordinate an interview for you for the MD-PhD program on the Thurs. evening preceding the formal Friday medical school interview date.

Q: I have several offers from other medical schools, what is the latest I can give my acceptance into the MD-PhD program?

A: You will no doubt receive multiple offers and may be facing a difficult choice. It is not unusual to receive e-mails and/or phone calls from applicants to whom we have made offers of acceptance who are trying to decide between a few programs that they have identified as their top choices, asking for clarifications about various aspects of our program and even requesting a revisit. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions of any kind at all. Also, the medical selection committee has a regular “second look” weekend at the beginning of April or May (they haven’t finalized the date just yet). If you would like to revisit us for a “second look” and have the opportunity to speak to research faculty, etc., whether as part of the official “second look” weekend or during any time that fits your calendar, just let me know and we can schedule that for you and cover your travel and housing costs (applicants typically either stay with a current MD-PhD student host or in a nearby hotel).

Q: Is the cost of my fellowship or scholarship tax free?

A: According to IRSPublication 970 (2008), Tax Benefits for Education, as long as you are a degree candidate only room, board and travel are taxable. Tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment are tax free.

Q: I am currently attending school in the United States and will be graduating soon. I am not a resident of Florida nor a citizen of the United States. Does this bar me from applying to the MD-PhD program?

A: This issue has been explored exhaustively. Since the University of Florida is a land grant state school it does not accept applications from individuals who do not hold either a green card or US citizenship. Because we are not a private school, the policy has been to only accept permanent residents and citizens of the US.

Q: What is the best undergraduate preparation for the MD-PhD program?

A: There is no one right preparation for MD-PhD. MD-PhD students have been successful with undergraduate majors spanning from Philosophy to Engineering. However, several things are important. First, the student must have a solid background in science. Much of this is ensured by fulfillment of the requirements for medical school application. Second, and most importantly, students need to demonstrate aptitude and interest in research. This is generally demonstrated through active participation in research activities. Students should seek out positions in research laboratories starting as early as their summer after their freshman year. In the present competitive atmosphere for MD-PhD positions, research experience and the resulting letters of recommendation are an absolute requirement for admission.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE along with the MCAT to apply for the MD-PhD Program?

A: No.

Q: Is the stipend support guaranteed regardless of how much time is spent during grad school?

A: The stipend support is guaranteed regardless of how much time is spent during grad school. You are guaranteed support through the MD-PhD program for all 4 years of medical school, while your graduate school mentor is responsible for your stipend support for as many years as it takes to complete your thesis work. Most of our trainees can complete thesis work in 3 years.