Sep 26, 2022  
Catalog 2020-2021 
    
Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Combined Degree Program, M.D./Ph.D.



Purpose

The program promotes the education of physician scientists by allowing students to be enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Medicine in Shreveport in a more efficient and productive sequence than could be accomplished otherwise. The integration of clinical and research throughout the program is designed to encourage graduates apply for PTSP residency programs and to pursue research and education in a clinical setting throughout their careers.

Administration

  • Co-Directors from the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Medicine will be appointed by the Deans of the Medical School and Graduate School, respectively.
  • A Project Coordinator will directly administer the program.
  • An MD-PhD Supervisory Committee, consisting of administrators and faculty from both schools, will be responsible for approving the admission of applicants to the program, ongoing development of integrated courses and procedures within the program, and facilitating the progress of students through the program. The Supervisory Committee consists of six members, three appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and three appointed by the Dean of the School of Medicine. Ex officio members will include the Provost, Associate Dean of Admissions, School of Medicine, and the Registrar.
  • Admissions Committee, consisting of four faculty and one MD-PhD student, will interview applicants and make admission recommendations to the Supervisory Committee. Admissions Committee members, consisting of two PhD research scientists and two physician scientists, will be appointed by the co-Directors.

The term of appointed members is indefinite. The Supervisory Committee will meet at least semi-annually to review and approve applications, to monitor and facilitate student progress through the program and to resolve conflicts. Special meetings may be called at the request of the Directors or by request of any two members, with the approval of a majority of the members. Minutes of all meetings will be recorded and maintained by the School of Graduate Studies, LSUHSC-Shreveport. All meetings will be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised).

Application and Admissions Process

Applicants to the MD-PhD program will apply to medical school and select the option for the MD-PhD program. Applicants selected for interview by the Medical School Admissions Committee also will interview with the MD-PhD Admissions Committee. Admission to the MD-PhD program requires acceptance by both the MD and MD-PhD Admissions Committees. Students who have matriculated into medical school also may apply for admission to the MD-PhD program, but no later than the end of the second semester of Medical School. The recommended cumulative grade point average (GPA) and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score for acceptance into the MD-PhD program are 3.5 and 504, respectively.

Matriculation

MD-PhD student records will be maintained by the Registrar and in both the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Medicine (copies of records from both schools will be maintained in each school). Registration will proceed in a manner determined by the Registrar, LSUHSC-Shreveport, and fees to be paid to either or both schools will be determined by the Registrar.

Programmatic Structure

Students will matriculate into the program in June and spend a week in orientation, which will include research presentations and discussions with potential mentors. They then will complete a five-week rotation in a research lab before beginning the regular medical school curriculum. Two additional mandatory rotations will be completed in May/June following the first year and after taking the USMLE STEP I exam. An optional fourth rotation can follow the third, if necessary. Students considering a fourth rotation should consult with a Director. The choice of a research mentor is made after completing the rotations and with the approval of the proposed mentor and the MD-PHD Advisory Committee.

Once students have chosen a mentor, they will follow the normal rules and requirements of the mentor’s departmental PhD program. However, given the extensive course load during medical school, several exceptions are made to the normal graduate school requirements. For example, 20 credit hours are required for graduation instead of 32, and only five of these must be taken for a letter grade. Also, passing the STEP 1 exam will substitute for passing the departmental qualifying exam.

After completion of the PhD, students will complete medical school years three and four. An outline of the program is shown below.

Combined Degree Outline

MD-PhD Journal Club/Seminar program

Students, along with faculty, residents, and fellows associated with the MD/PhD program, will participate in a bi-monthly Physician Scientist Program Seminar (PSP seminar) series. Students in the first and second year of medical school will prepare annual journal club presentations. Those students actively involved in research will present their project results and planned experiments annually, while those who have completed their PhD work will have the option of annual journal club or research presentations. The PSP seminar series will be open to all LSUHSC-Shreveport faculty, students and staff, and medical students in particular will be encouraged to attend and participate.

Quarterly Meetings

Students at all stages of the program will meet as a group at least quarterly with the MD-PhD directors and project coordinator to discuss programmatic or administrative issues. The meeting also will provide a venue for advanced students to advise and informally mentor more junior students.

MD-PhD Advisory Committee

After choosing a mentor, the student, together with his/her mentor, will select at least four additional Thesis Advisory Committee members. One member of the committee should be from outside LSUHSC-Shreveport. If the mentor is a basic science researcher, at least one member of the committee should be a physician-scientist. The thesis advisory committee will meet semi-annually to track student progress and additionally to judge the student’s preliminary exam and final dissertation defense. An advisory committee will continue to meet following completion of the PhD but the composition of the committee may change to reflect the need for advice on selecting clinical rotations and appropriate residency programs. Student progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester by the MD-PhD Supervisory Committee.

Patient contact program - (need name).
To allow students to gain clinical competencies during their research years and to ease the transition into the clinic following the completion of the PhD, students will spend one day a month seeing patients through the Family Medicine Department while pursuing their PhD research. Additional mechanisms may be possible, with guidance from the MD-PhD Supervisory Committee.

Preliminary Exam and Fellowship Proposal
Students will submit a F30 Fellowship proposal before the end of their eligibility (second year of Graduate School. A grant writing course in the fall of their second year in Grad School will provide will prepare students for writing the proposal. The written and oral defense of the proposal will constitute the Preliminary Exam.

Annual MD-PhD Student Conference
Students are encouraged to participate in the national MD-PhD student conference every year after they enter Grad School.

Support

Students who apply to the program will be eligible for loans, grants, scholarships, tuition waiver, stipends or other financial aid available from the respective schools.

Students enrolled in the MD-PhD program will register in either or both the Graduate or Medical School as appropriate. If at any time a student is registered in both schools and it is necessary that s/he be considered to be enrolled in one school for specific purposes, such as loans, scholarship eligibility grants, etc., s/he shall be considered to be enrolled in the School of Medicine for the first and second years of the program, to be enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies commencing with the third year of the program through the completion of the requirements of the PhD degree, and in the School of Medicine thereafter. Other appropriate enrollment designations may be made by the MD-PhD Supervisory Committee, in the best interests of the student and the University.

Tuition waivers and stipends will be provided by the School of Graduate Studies or Medicine as shown in the attached MD/PhD Schedule of Fees, Tuition, and Stipends. Tuition waivers will be provided by the School of Graduate Studies after successful completion of the first two years of Medical School and passing the USMLE Step 1 exam.

After successful completion of the PhD degree program, in-state tuition and non-resident fees paid for the first year of Medical School will be reimbursed at the beginning of the third year of Medical School. In-state tuition and non-resident fees paid for the second year of Medical School will be reimbursed at the beginning of the fourth year of Medical School. These reimbursements will be provided through the School of Medicine.

In-state tuition and non-resident fee waivers for the final two years of the program to be completed in the School of Medicine will be provided for all students who have completed the requirements for the PhD degree. These waivers will be provided through the School of Medicine.

A stipend at the current approved level will be provided by the Basic Science department of enrollment in accordance with departmental policies. Support should be provided from the time of completion of the first two years of School of Medicine courses until completion of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

All forms of institutional support may be terminated for any student who does not maintain acceptable grade point averages in the two schools or who otherwise does not perform in a satisfactory manner in the schools or the program. Any instance wherein support could be terminated will be reviewed and approved by the MD-PhD Supervisory Committee.

All support provided for this program will be contingent on the availability of funds.

Progress

Students will be expected to maintain at least an 80% grade score average. A grade in any course of less than 70% will automatically terminate the student’s participation in the M.D.-Ph.D. program. Students who fail to maintain an 80% grade score average during any semester of the M.D.-Ph.D. program will be placed on academic probation. A student may not remain on academic probation for longer than one calendar year. If a student fails to attain an 80% grade score average within one year of being placed on probation, s/he will be dismissed from the M.D.-Ph.D. program.

Students will be continuously enrolled in the M.D.-Ph.D. program until the requirements for both degrees are completed or until withdrawal or dismissal from the program.

The program should be completed within 7-8 years. Only under special circumstances and with the approval of the MD-PhD Supervisory Committee with conditions stipulated, may students be allowed more than 8 years to complete the program. Degrees will be awarded by the respective Schools at the completion of the School degree requirements.

Students seeking to withdraw from the program will petition the MD-PhD Supervisory Committee. After consideration of the student’s request and other relevant information, the committee will make recommendations to the Schools. Further action will be taken by the appropriate School.

Students seeking to withdraw from the Medical School portion of the program, but to continue in the Ph.D. program, must reapply to the Ph.D. program through the Department admissions process and be accepted by the Department and the School of Graduate Studies. Medical School courses in which the student has received a grade of 80% or better, may be transferred to the Graduate School curriculum at the discretion of the Departmental Admissions Committee.

Students who choose to not complete the program will reimburse the institution for funds expended on their behalf, as shown in the M.D.-Ph.D. Schedule of Fees, Tuition, and Stipends (attached).