Goals & Mission
MD-PhD physician-engineers are special individuals with extensive training in both medicine and biomedical engineering. MD-PhDs are vital members of the research community and uniquely positioned to advance both basic and clinical research. Their goals are to:
- Advance the understanding of health and disease processes at the basic research level;
- Mediate the translation of bench top discovery into clinical advances in the diagnosis, prevention, or therapy of diseases;
- Ameliorate illness and suffering through patient care, basic and applied research; and,
- Establish and implement health care policy.
Training & Mentorship
Along with courses at Geisel, students train in laboratories with leaders in their fields of engineering. Labs tend to be small, allowing faculty to be accessible and provide close mentoring.
MD-PhD students are also provided with mentoring resources at different levels of their academic careers. Mentors include include physician-scientists on the Dartmouth faculty as well as current students.
Course of Study
Training for this career path is unique and distinct from the simple combination of the separate MD and PhD programs. Of equal importance is the need to maintain flexibility to meet the special needs of individual students.
Basic MD Phase
First-Year PhD Phase
Second-Year PhD Phase
Final PhD Phase
- Dissertation research
- Completion of thesis defense
Prerequisites & Requirements
The foundation for doctoral work is undergraduate preparation in science, mathematics, and engineering principles. Applicants must hold a bachelor's or master's degree to be considered for the MD-PhD program.
The candidate with undergraduate engineering training (BE or BS degree) plus two years of medical school training normally takes:
- Applied mathematics (two to three courses)
- Engineering courses leading to a depth of knowledge in an engineering specialty (four courses)
Seminars & Workshops
In addition to engineering and applied mathematics courses, PhD students participate in the following seminars and workshops:
Candidates complete the four-year MD curriculum. The electives of year four may be fulfilled through PhD dissertation research.
Once advanced to PhD candidacy, the student works with a special advisory committee to make sure that all regular PhD degree requirements are met.
All students, upon matriculation, are required to attend a series of workshops in ethics and sign a statement that they agree to abide by the honor principles established by Dartmouth. See Graduate Academic and Conduct Regulations for a full statement of academic honor.
PhD+MD candidates are in residence at Thayer School a minimum of 6 terms, including 2 terms of participation ENGG 195: Seminar on Science – Technology and Society and one term of ENGG 198.
Students must apply to Geisel School of Medicine as well as Thayer School, indicating their specific interests.