Proceeding through the MD-PhD Program at Dartmouth

The MD-PhD Program at Dartmouth is organized to permit students to achieve the full potential of both degrees in an efficient and effective manner while also developing an understanding of the health care system as a whole.

Typical Timeline:

  1. M1 & M2: Medical School Years 1 & 2
    1. August - June: Students begin with M1 and its orientation
    2. June - August: Students perform their first research rotation between M1 and M2, and their second research rotation between M2 and P1. If necessary or desired, students may take a third research rotation in early autumn, immediately following the second research rotation.
    3. Early Fall: The MD-PhD Retreat, which brings the entire program together to discuss situations unique to the combined program and to celebrate our camaraderie
    4. Late Spring: Grand Rounds, which allows the program to give back to the local medical community; the accompanying dinner celebrates both our honored guest and those transitioning to new phases in the program
    5. August - June: M2 and Step 1 of the USMLE (medical boards)
    6. Early Fall: MD-PhD Retreat
    7. Late Spring: Grand Rounds
  2. P1 to P4: PhD Phase (typically 3 to 5 years; the average is 4 years)
    1. June - September: Students complete additional desired or required research rotations
    2. September: Students become members of their chosen thesis labs
    3. Early Fall: MD-PhD Retreat
    4. Late Spring: Grand Rounds
    5. Toward the end of the PhD training: Clinical Skills Review, consisting of several weeks of a clinical skills refresher course, including interviewing, physical examination, developing an assessment, and oral and written presentation.
    6. The written dissertation and the thesis defense (department specific).
  3. M3 & M4: Medical School Years 3 & 4
    1. Late June (preferred) or Late August - June: M3, consisting of 6 core clerkships and one elective
    2. July - June: M4, During this period, MD-PhD students actively participate in clinical and/or translational research through the Department of Medicine. This experience replaces the rotation in Geriatric and Ambulatory Medicine.
    3. June: Receive MD