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The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry offer a combined program in which the research curriculum of the graduate program is integrated into the program leading to the professional degree. The program is available in all disciplines offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. While details of scheduling and completion dates are in part dependent on each student, the curriculum can be completed in six years. The aim of this program is the development of future academic medicine clinician-scientists within an investigative discipline.

The student's application will be evaluated in two independent processes. The first will be for all Medical School applications by the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. The second evaluations will be by the MD/PhD Committee and Faculty of Graduate Studies. The MD/PhD committee will assess the student's research experience and potential as well as general skills that will enable him or her to cope with the heavy workload and constrained scheduling that will exist in the combined program. Consideration will be reserved for only clearly outstanding individuals, both academically and in research potential. The admissions process for the undergraduate Medical Program will be modified to allow students to be accepted into the combined program as of May 1.

  1. All students entering the MD/PhD will have an Honors degree in their field of specialty. This will ensure that the student has had the maximum amount of undergraduate reserach training and background course work. For students in science fields, this will also provide the opportunity to evaluate research skills in a fourth year research project. It is also a general criterion to enter most graduate programs.
  2. Students will apply to and undergo the standard procedures for entrance into Medical School. It should be noted that applications will not be accepted from invididuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents (landed immigrants) on the closing date for application.
  3. No later than the time of application to Medical School, the student will notify the Director of the MD/PhD Program of his or her intention to apply for admission to the combined program. This request should contain the information to be evaluated by the MD/PhD committee and the Faculty of Graduate Studies: a copy of the student's transcripts, a Curriculum Vitae, and two letters of reference emphasizing in particular the student's aptitude for research. Forms will be provided to assist the referees in their evaluation. These letters and the student's transcripts will be reviewed by the MD/PhD committee for preliminary approval.
  4. If found acceptable, the student will be interviewed by the MD/PhD committee to determine his or her research field of interest, to discuss potential supervisors and funding options. Acceptance into the program will not be granted until the student is linked with a supervisor.
  5. The student's file will be submitted to the graduate studies committee of the home department followed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies for approval.
  6. The two processes of evaluation will converge with the student being accepted into the MD/PhD program as of May 1.

Currently the undergraduate medical curriculum is completed in four years. Years 1 and 2 consist primarily of lectures and patient centered learning. Years 3 and 4 include a clerkship, electives and transitional period. In subsequent years of the MD/PhD program, graduate and medical components of the program will be coordinated by spreading the first two years of the medical school curriculum over 4 years. This will enable the student to continue with his or her lab work throughout the year and will allow the momentum generated during the summer months to be maintained. Additional requirements of the graduate program, such as course work and comprehensive exams, will also be completed during this period. The final 2 years of the medical curriculum, beginning with the clerkship, will begin after completion of the graduate thesis work. Flexibility in the medical program will allow this phase to begin at more than one point in the academic year.

It is highly recommended that all students interested in this program apply for all graduate awards for which they are eligible (e.g. OGS, NSERC). Applicants interested in obtaining more information on the MD/PhD program should contact the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Admissions Office at the address below:

Director, MD/PhD Program
Admissions & Student Affairs
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Dental Sciences Building
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
N6A 5C1