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A Letter From the Student Association President

Dear Prospective Student,

Welcome to Emory University’s MD/PhD program website! By virtue of your interest in the MSTP, you already know that it is an exciting time to begin a career as a physician-scientist. However, enrolling in an MD/PhD program is a big commitment in many aspects of your life. It’s important to find a place that not only excels in medicine and research, but a place where you’ll be happy for the duration - a place where the students share your appreciation for fun, the administration is supportive, and the educational training is tailored for your future career as a physician scientist. Emory is this place for me, and here are just a few of the reasons why:

Medical education has never been more invigorating at Emory - we have a new medical school building and a cutting edge curriculum, combined with a large and diversified network of Emory-affiliated hospitals, a network that grows every year. The new curriculum takes on a systems-based approach that seeks to 1) integrate basic and clinical medicine together right from the beginning with early clinic experiences, 2) create physicians with the highest degree of professionalism and clinical competency, and 3) provide small group environments for active problem based learning with the guidance of elite clinicians that mentor the same group of medical students throughout all years of medical training. Furthermore, Emory medical students benefit from training at numerous hospitals, such as Grady Memorial Hospital (largest public hospital and Level 1 Trauma center in GA), Atlanta VA Medical Center, etc. which provide a diverse set of hospital environments and patient populations.

Research at Emory is cutting edge due to both top-notch faculty and exceptional facilities. Emory is home to several nationally-recognized research centers, such as the Winship Cancer Institute and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as our affiliations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located right next door to Emory's campus. These resources have inspired a wonderfully collaborative atmosphere in Atlanta, perhaps best represented in our joint degree Biomedical Engineering program with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Emory also has several core facilities such as the Transgenic Mouse Core and the Emory Genome Center (as well as many others) that provide specialized services which enhance research productivity for the entire campus. These facilities represent only a fraction of the outstanding research being done here, but most importantly the flexibility in our MD/PhD program structure allows students to individualize their own research experience across disciplines, across departments, and across campus as needed to take full advantage of the multitude of resources and faculty that Emory has to offer. 

We are also fortunate to be located in a great city. Atlanta has a hint of Southern hospitality with all the amenities, culture, and happenings of a big metropolitan city. It’s no wonder that Atlanta is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the US (the beautiful weather doesn’t hurt either!), and as such, it attracts students and people from all over the country and world. It is a place I am glad to call home.

Nevertheless, what truly sets Emory’s MSTP program apart is the student body. Our students are diverse in every sense of the word. We hail from all over the country and world, as Emory has support for both national and international students. We pursue both traditional and non-traditional MD/PhD career paths, with some students pursuing degrees like anthropology and epidemiology (through our Rollins School of Public Health). We are incredibly involved in Atlanta’s medical, research, and social communities, and explore a number of pursuits to balance our interests. Our student body is a wonderful group of people – friendly, enthusiastic, and supported by a great and dedicated administration, actively involved in making our MD/PhD students the best it can be.

These are just a few of the reasons we think Emory is a great place for MD/PhD training, but I encourage you to further explore our website and seek out more information for yourself. Where you decide to train is an important decision and we want it to be the best fit for you! I’d love to answer any questions you may have so feel free to contact me.


Lizz Iffrig

Emory University MD/PhD Student Association President