Pursue a career that blends research and discovery with clinical practice. With your M.D. and Ph.D., you will have a unique set of experiences and training that will prepare you to be a leader in medicine as a physician scientist.
Be a Leader in Medical Research
Physician scientists play a unique role in contemporary medical research, combining research with clinical practice. The physician scientist program (M.D./Ph.D.) offered by the USD Sanford School of Medicine integrates achievement of both the M.D. degree and the Ph.D. degree. You'll start by focusing on the M.D. program, taking pre-clinical coursework of the medical training program and identifying an area of research. In the next three years you'll complete the Ph.D. component before then finishing the M.D. program.
Research is a defining element of your program. USD is home to state-of-the-art facilities and internationally-recognized research mentors, giving you the resources and connections you need to thrive. You perform important research in a research area of interest such as biochemistry, molecular biology, cellular biology, anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, microbiology, immunology or neuroscience. In the next three to four years through this hands-on, robust program, you will set yourself up for a successful career as a physician scientist.
Degrees & Offerings
Physician Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.)Doctorate
The most significant discoveries in medicine result from collaboration between basic scientists and clinical medical doctors. Through the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, you'll experience both disciplines and gain a unique blend of skills as you become a leader in medical research and clinical practice.
Admissions RequirementsTo pursue an M.D./Ph.D. degree at the USD Sanford School of Medicine, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Known for Excellence
USD is home to South Dakota's only medical school, and the only M.D. in the State.
Physician scientist students are eligible for a fellowship stipend and reduced tuition to make your education even more affordable.
Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
The first three semesters are devoted to the pre-clinical course work of the medical training program.
By the end of the first year, you will become acquainted with the research opportunities at Sanford School of Medicine and will select an area of dissertation research.
Passing Step 1 of the USMLE at the end of Pillar 1 is required for officially entering “The PhD Years."
This three or four-year block is devoted to course work and research appropriate to your area of specialization.
Coursework within this block will vary considerably and will be customized for your interests and needs.
You will receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. This course provides students with practical instruction regarding the rules, regulations and professional best practices that are the foundation of biomedical research.
You will complete all research and prepare and defend the written dissertation document during this period of study.
Pillar 2 involves rotating clinical training in the M.D. program focusing on core sciences.
Pillar 3 consists of three semesters of a combination of clinical clerkship courses and clinical electives.
Departments & Facilities
The Parry Center for Clinical Skills & Simulation is a state-of-the-art learning environment that allows collaboration among students and safely simulates real-patient experiences.
Faculty & Staff
Get to know the faculty and staff in the Sanford School of Medicine.