The program’s success is based on the supportive environment of the faculty and administrators of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Coursework with the program is individualized and determined by the student, with guidance from the MD-MBA Directors. Educational plans vary, though students typically spend the first three years matriculated at the medical school, during which time they complete the first and second year basic science courses and the third year clinical clerkships. Students then matriculate at Tuck for the full Tuck first year curriculum. The remaining fourth year medical school credits and second year business school credits are subsequently completed according to students’ individualized schedules.
The Dartmouth MD-MBA Program offers both five and six year program options. We recommend the five-year program, but understand that some will choose the six year option. When at all possible, we encourage a 5.5 year program rather than a full six years, so you do not have to pay the full six years of tuition. In most cases with a 5.5 year program the student completes the Tuck graduation requirements and graduates with his/her Tuck class and then receives his/her medical degree once the remaining medical school credits are completed.
The five year program is tightly scheduled with very few breaks, allowing candidates to earn the joint degree in five rather than six years, thereby reducing their financial commitment and enabling them to launch their careers at an accelerated pace.
The six year track allows the student to experience the full impact of both programs, including a Tuck summer internship, while allowing some cross-course credits to be applied to each school and a little more scheduling flexibility for the student.
Years 1 – 3 (Geisel)
Dual-degree candidates spend the first three years of the program at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, acquiring a strong foundation in the basic sciences in the classroom and laboratory and intensive clinical training at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and other clinical sites.
The fourth year of the program is spent mostly at the Tuck School of Business, where the school’s innovative core curriculum and the Tuck First Year Project provide training in the broad integrative management skills that are the hallmark of organizational leadership. Classes at Tuck begin at the end of August and wrap up at the end of May. This will be a fun but scholastically packed year and it goes by fast. We encourage you to be proactive in your engagement with your business school classmates, health care leaders who visit campus, and the multitude of projects and opportunities available to deepen your understanding of health care management and to broaden your exposure to other managerial roles and skills.
The Tuck Healthcare Initiative (HCI), one of several research centers at Tuck, can support MD-MBA students in this engagement. The HCI enhances the education and industry of Tuck students in the classroom and beyond through coursework, independent studies, consulting projects, internship support, and exposure to experts in business and health policy. It brings together the expertise of its affiliated Tuck faculty, as well as resources from across the Dartmouth College campus, including the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, the Geisel School of Medicine, and the Thayer School of Engineering. For students looking to expand their education to other industries, there are several other research centers, elective courses, and project opportunities to foster this learning.
Additionally, we strongly encourage you to complete your TuckGO global experience requirement during the Tuck first year spring break in March.
The summer months of June, July, August, and half of September after the Tuck first year curriculum ends can be used for completion of medical school credits. Students generally complete Geriatric & Ambulatory Medicine in June and sub-internships or clinical electives in July, August, and sometimes September. For students taking six years to complete the MD-MBA program, a business internship can also be completed during this time. We also encourage you to do a two week sub-internship or elective during part of the Tuck winter break in December to keep your clinical skills fresh.
In year five of the program, students will complete their remaining medical school Core Clerkships, elective credits, and required non-clinical courses as well as the remaining Tuck elective credits required for graduation. This year allows students to integrate the medical and business experiences of the previous four years and apply them to areas of their own special interest. Students should remember to plan ahead for the residency interview season, which occurs sometime during the late fall or winter of this year depending on the chosen specialty.
Most students spend the fall term of the fifth year at Tuck, the winter term on the residency interview trail and completing the final required non-clinical medical school coursework, and the spring term at Tuck.
Some students have had success in completing their Tuck credits prior to the start of the spring term in the fifth year. If this is what you would like to try to do, you will need to overload your credits by 1.5 every term at Tuck, complete a Global Insight Expedition (GIX) over the Tuck first year spring break (during year 4 of the program) for an additional 1.5 credits, as well as arrange a Tuck independent study for 3 credits. This creates a demanding schedule during the fourth and fifth years of the program and as such we do not suggest this route, but it is a personal choice. Doing so enables the student to complete additional medical school credits or a business internship during the spring of the fifth year. Expectations are that students who try this route will be exemplary students who maintain a 90% margin of S+ or Honors grades. The Director will receive your transcripts from Tuck on a term by term basis so your progress in the program can be monitored.
5 Year Plan vs. 6 Year Plan
There are considerable benefits to either the five or six year plan.
Exceptional students dedicated to a clinical career have found the five-year program to be the most efficient track to residency.
Students interested in exploring business opportunities and additional projects have found a 5.5 or six-year program to allow very meaningful opportunities and career building experiences.