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Clinical Experiences

doctor and patientIn adherence to our principles of true dual-degree training, the MSTP at Rochester provides rigorous training in both the basic sciences and clinical medicine. Building on the SMD Double Helix Curriculum, the MSTP curriculum intertwines basic science and research with the clinic during all phases of training.

Trainees are exposed to clinical medicine beginning on the first day of medical school, and complete the Primary Care Clerkship and Family Medicine Shelf Exam by the end of the second year.

During graduate school, all trainees conduct two to four Longitudinal Clerkships (LCs). The goals of the clerkship include early exposure to the MD/PhD career model, career guidance, keeping students connected with the clinic to better inform their graduate studies, and continuing to hone students’ clinical skills for their return to the clinical years. The LCs are unique, flexible clerkships customized around the student’s graduate studies, but classically consist of 20-24 weekly half-days seeing patients under the preceptorship of a practicing physician-scientist in Rochester. Students choose preceptors independently, based on mutual considerations, career interests, and graduate school commitments. Each LC awards two elective credits toward the medical school clinical curriculum, and also includes occasional evening Longitudinal Rounds (LR) sessions, where MSTP students gather for refreshments and present patients in a low-stress environment to fellow students and physician-scientist faculty.

putting sample in tube


The Longitudinal Clerkship, opportunities for research credits, and extensive assistance and advice from their Advisory Dean (Dr. David Lambert) greatly facilitate MSTP students’ reentry to the third year of medical school in a flexible and timely manner. In addition, many students ease back into the clinical curriculum on the Highland Hospital Family Medicine elective. Our students otherwise complete the same requirements as any other medical student in the clinical curriculum, and ultimately successfully match recent graduates to top choices in a wide variety of clinical specialties across the country.