Medical Scientist Training Program

Eight MSTP students in white coats sitting in front of Case Western Reserve University sign

The Original MD/PhD

Case Western Reserve University (then known as Western Reserve University) created and launched the very first MD/PhD program in the country in 1956, nearly a decade before the NIH developed the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) to support this type of training, which had by then spread to other universities. Our program was among the early group to receive NIH funding as an MSTP.

MD-PhD programs are designed for students who want to become research physicians, also known as physician-scientists. Each side of the dual degree training informs the other side. Students are trained to recognize new ways that clinical care can benefit from research, and to see how research discoveries can be translated to the clinical level. MD/PhD candidates are trained for careers in which they will spend most of their time doing research, in addition to caring for patients. Graduates of MD/PhD programs often go on to become faculty members at medical schools, universities and research institutes.