MD with Distinction (MDwD) in the Molecular Medicine Pathway

Overview

Successful completion of the program will result in graduation with an M.D. with Distinction (proposal submission directions and timeline) and Certificate in Molecular Medicine.


Direct questions about the MD with Distinction in Molecular Medicine to:

    Anna Bakardjiev BakardjievA@peds.ucsf.edu or Ben Cheyette bc@lppi.ucsf.edu
 

Requirements

  • A year of supervised research in a UCSF laboratory with a research mentor approved in advance by the Pathway Directors. A year of research in a laboratory outside of UCSF may satisfy the research requirement, but only with the permission of the Pathway Directors, obtained in advance.
  • The student will have a thesis committee of no less than three faculty to include the research mentor, one of the Pathway Directors, and a third faculty member knowledgeable in the field.
  • The committee will meet at least twice, the first time a few months after the student begins the research year, the second no later than May of the research year. Students pursuing their research work outside of UCSF are not exempt from this requirement.
  • The student will submit a thesis, with a draft due on February 15th of their fifth year and the final due on April 1st. The thesis can consist of a single chapter giving scholarly background for the work plus either a publication or a complete description of the methods, results and interpretation if no publication is forthcoming.
  • The equivalent of one semester of graduate level coursework in the biomedical sciences. A student may take the coursework as an auditor anytime in medical school. Credit will be given for graduate level work done as an undergraduate prior to entering medical school, with permission of the Pathway Directors.
  • One full year of journal club participation during the research year. If the hosting lab group has one, that would suffice. Otherwise, the BMS journal club meets weekly at Parnassus. Regular participation in the Molecular Medicine bi-weekly Journal Club.
  • A course in Ethical Conduct of Research, such as BMS214.
  • Presentation of research work either as a poster or a platform talk at the annual Research Festival.

Thesis Committee

  • The student will have a thesis committee of no less than three faculty to include the research mentor, one of the Pathway Directors, and a third faculty member knowledgeable in the field.
  • After acceptance into the MDwD Program, students will consult with their mentors and submit the names of the faculty members of their MDwD Committee via the online form, due August 1st. Submission of this form will trigger a request to the Committee Chairperson to confirm agreement with a statement of their responsibilties (see below)
  • The committee will meet at least twice, the first time a few months after the student begins the research year, the second no later than May of the research year. Students pursuing their research work outside of UCSF are not exempt from this requirement.

Program Timeline

  1. Submission of IDP by October of year prior to research year
  2. Submission of Letter of Intent by November of year prior to research year
  3. Submission of application by January 15th of year prior to research year
  4. Submission of thesis committee membership by August 1st of research year
  5. First thesis committee meeting by end of August of research year
  6. Second thesis committee meeting no later than May of the research year
  7. Completion of one semester of graduate level coursework in the biomedical sciences taken as an auditor at anytime in medical school or approved equivalent
  8. One full year of journal club participation during the research year and regular participation in the Molecular Medicine bi-weekly case conference
  9. A course in Ethical Conduct of Research, such as BMS214.
  10. Draft of thesis due February 15th of graduation year
  11. Final thesis due April 1st of graduation year
  12. Presentation of research work either as a poster or a platform talk at the annual Research Festival.

Application Submission

  • Submission of application via the RAPtr funding form in January of the year prior to the research year. Accepted students will need to complete a brief, additional enrollment form by June 1st that will open on May 1st here. Learners can check this year's exact deadline and access the RAPtr funding application form at the RAPtr website.

    NOTE: All yearlong funding applicants must complete the RAPtr letter of intent by November 1st of the year prior to the start of the research year.

  • Learners not seeking yearlong UCSF funding via the RAPtr application form Complete and declare intent to pursue the MDwD on Pathways to Discovery enrollment, due June 1st. It is also recommended that you contact the MMP Pathway directors for more information.
     
  • Formation of the Thesis Committee. After acceptance into the MDwD Program, students should consult with their mentors and submit the names of the faculty members of their MDwD Committee via the online form, due August 1st. Submission of this form will trigger a request to the Committee Chairperson to confirm agreement with the following attestation statement:

I approve the student's plan for obtaining an MD with Distinction and I confirm it is feasible for the student to complete a draft of his/her legacy product on time. I understand that the draft legacy product is due no later than February 15th of the graduation year and a final legacy product must be completed by April 1st of that year. As primary project mentor, I am willing to serve as chair of his/her MDwD committee. I understand that the committee will oversee the MDwD effort and provide help and guidance during the scholarly project and the preparation of the legacy product. The committee will include 2 additional faculty members. I will assist the student in identifying someone with specific content or methodological expertise to serve on the committee. The other faculty member will be from the Molecular Medicine Pathway leadership team. The student will arrange regular meetings with the committee throughout his/her course of study, including but not limited to, one formal meeting during the first 2 months and one during the last 2 months of the research period.

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