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Physician Scientist - Clinical (MD/PhD): SPCL 598


Must be a student in MD/PhD Program


Medicine - MD/PhD Program


University of Maryland

Background and Rationale:

This elective is designed to provide MD/PhD students with integrative clinical experiences that will enhance their training as physician scientists. The elective includes a longitudinal clinical experience during the Ph.D. years. In order to maintain a continual exposure to the principles and practice of medicine, students will be linked with a clinician investigator who works in an area related to the student’s research and/or clinical interests. The student will accompany this faculty mentor in a patient care contact experience over the course of an academic year for at least 100 hours of hands-on contact time. Students will also participate in the Physician Scientist Seminar series throughout all their years of training. This combined theoretical and practical exposure to clinical medicine will provide the student with a solid foundation of the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of a variety of human diseases that reinforce the clinical relevance of their research projects. The student will gain insight into the thought processes underlying the formation of a differential diagnosis as well as an appreciation for the evolution of diseases over time. This clinical experience will illuminate an important link between the student’s ongoing basic/translational research and clinical medicine. An additional benefit of this course is the presentation of the clinician investigator as a role model to aid the student in career planning decisions. The Preceptor will submit a completed evaluation form with grade for clinical experience to the Coursemaster, and the Coursemaster will complete a final evaluation with an overall grade for the course based upon completion of all elements.


  • MSI through 4th Year of Graduate School – Total of six years

  • MSI: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

  • MSII: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

  • GSI: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

  • GSII: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

  • GSIII: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

  • Longitudinal Clinical Rotation – a mentorship with clinical faculty member upon approval of course masters – 100 hrs minimum

  • GSIV: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

  • MSIV: Monthly Physician Scientist Seminars – 16 hrs

Selection Process:

MD/PhD Students will select this elective at the time they initiate the Longitudinal Clinical Rotation Requirement.

Faculty Responsible:

Terry B. Rogers, Ph.D.

Ronald Gartenhaus, M.D.


One-month elective credit given towards fourth year academic requirements upon successful completion of the all of the above components.



Last Revision: September 9, 2008