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Physician/Scientist Program Curriculum

Medical School- Years 1 & 2

Our medical school first and second year curriculum provides the necessary foundation for graduates to be well prepared to enter any field of medicine. Emphasis has been placed on self-directed learning, integration of basic and clinical sciences, and more active forms of learning. Students’ medical careers begin with the White Coat Ceremony, which defines the commitment and dedication they have made to their patients and themselves as they enter medical school. Students learn basic science knowledge during the first two years in lectures, problem-based learning sessions, small group discussions, laboratories, and clinical correlations. In mid-June of the second year, students sit for Step 1 of the USMLE.

Graduate School

P/SP students enter the graduate years full-time after completing Step 1 of the USMLE. Students may elect to do a third research rotation, or if they have already completed two research rotations, may select a graduate program and a dissertation advisor, and begin work on their Ph.D. dissertation.

Coursework during the graduate years emphasizes basic principles and concepts in biochemistry, biostatistics, genetics, and cell biology, with additional courses specific to the area of concentration. Additional program requirements include weekly seminar series, and student research presentations. All students take a online course in ethics and must complete a proposal-based Preliminary Examination, usually after the first year of graduate school. When the dissertation advisory committee is satisfied that the aims of the research project have been met and the dissertation has been defended successfully, the requirements for the Ph.D. will have been completed.

P/SP students prepare to re-enter medical school as they near completion of their dissertation. Typically students begin medical school in July or mid-August with the third year medical student class. Students anticipating return to medical school notify the medical school in January and complete the clerkship selection process, which is coordinated by the Office of Student Affairs of the medical school.

The complete graduate program guidelines are as follows:

Up to 24 credit hours of coursework is transferred from the students’ medical school.

First Year

BMSP 7100 Workshop (1 credit)
BMSP 7140 Seminar (1 credit)
BMSP 7990 Independent Study (4-6 credits depending upon elective chosen)
Elective Courses
Attend BMS Retreat (no credits)
Safety Training (no credits)

GBCH 7250 Biostatistics (2 credits)
BMSP 7110 Workshop (1 credit)
BMSP 7150 Seminar (1 credit)
BMSP 7990 Independent Study (2-4 credits depending upon elective chosen)
Course Transfer from Medical School (24 credits)

Second Year

The second year consists of only Workshop (BMSP 7100 - 1credit/semester) and Seminar (BMSP 7140 1 credit/semester) to complete a total of 48 credit hours. Students must also register for Independent Study (BMSP 7990) or Selected topics (BMSP 7500) to maintain full time status. Second year will have no other formal didactic courses.  However, if a student chooses a mentor within a specific area of research emphasis, further requirements may be necessary.

Medical School- Years 3 & 4

P/SP students begin third year medical school clerkships about July 1 of their seventh year, after completing their Ph.D. dissertation.

The majority of clinical training is offered in the third and fourth years. Tulane has created a “combined” third and fourth year, whereby students have 20 months of training, of which 15 are required and 5 are elective. The requirements for the third and fourth year include: 8-week clerkships in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry/neurology, a 6 week clerkship in family medicine, 2 weeks of radiology, emergency medicine, and outpatient surgery, and 5 one month electives, one month of ambulatory internal medicine, and a sub-internship.

Students are also required to participate in a new interdisciplinary seminar series in which students choose from a variety of offerings. The entire family medicine clerkship is an ambulatory based experience with a community preceptor, most of whom practice in rural settings. The medicine and surgery clerkships are in-patient experiences, while the other clerkships offer a balance of inpatient and outpatient experience