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Welcome from the Student Association

On behalf of the MD/PhD Student Association, thank you for your interest in the Emory University MSTP! We are eager to share the strengths of both our program and the city of Atlanta with you. Our program offers outstanding training in a collaborative,enriching environment. While you’ll certainly find this at other programs, webelieve that Emory offers a truly unique training environment for many reasons:

1) The strength and breadth of our graduate training opportunities

As one of the leading and fastest-growing research institutions, Emory consistently receives a record amount of external research funding. Also, students in the Laney Graduate School continue to have unprecedented success in obtaining NIH predoctoral fellowships. In this well-funded, supportive 

environment, Emory offers a diverse range of degree programs. In addition to the 8 interdisciplinary programs offered through the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDDBS), we offer many strong “non-traditional” degree programs, as well. Our joint biomedical engineering (BME) degree with Georgia Tech is currently ranked #2 in the nation. Students have also chosen to pursue other prestigious degree options at Tech, such as Bioengineering and Computer Science. Public health degrees are offered through the Rollins School of Public Health, which was recently ranked #7 nationally and regularly collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Carter Center. Last, but definitely not least, our program enthusiastically supports degrees in the social sciences. For example, some of our current and former students have pursued degrees in Anthropology and Sociology. Our administration strongly supports the academic plans of our students. In general, if you can dream it, you can do it.

2) The exceptional medical training offered

 Our medical education begins with a systems-based curriculum that incorporates small group sessions and clinical skills training throughout. Clinical training occurs at Emory Healthcare, the largest and most comprehensive health system in Georgia. Twelve of Emory’s specialties are nationally-ranked, and our Winship Cancer Institute is the only NCI-designated center in Georgia. Additionally, Emory students are known for their unparalleled training at Grady Hospital, one of the world’s biggest public hospitals. It includes a renowned Trauma Center, the world’s first Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, and one of the top three HIV/AIDS outpatient clinics in the country. Emory’s longstanding partnership with Grady underscores the University’s dedication to working with vulnerable populations and bridging healthcare disparities.

3) The MSTP’s integration of graduate and medical training

The MSTP administration is dedicated to providing smooth transitions between medical and graduate school while also maintaining flexibility for our diverse career interests. The MD/PhD curriculum has recently been redesigned such that students complete both the 18-month Foundations (i.e., didactic preclinical coursework) and 12-month Applications (i.e., core clinical rotations) prior to the start of graduate training. This allows ours trainees to obtain a greater clinical perspective before committing to a course of study, allowing them to choose a path of graduate study more aligned with their clinical interests and future career aspirations.

The 18-month Foundations curriculum also includes a biweekly MD/PhD Journal Club, which supplements didactic medical training with relevant current research. Additionally, the entire program attends our monthly Clinical Research Conference (CRC), which aims to bridge clinical findings with current translational research and provides opportunities for networking and professional development. Graduate students present at CRCs after spending time on the wards with clinicians of their choosing, allowing us the ability to explore different specialties. Finally, there is a transition course offered for re-entering senior medical students, which is taught by Dr. Joanna Bonsall, an Emory MSTP alum and our Clinical Co-Director.

4) The city of Atlanta

When choosing an MD/PhD program, you are also choosing where you want to spend a good part of the next decade of your life. At Emory, our students are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance in an affordable yet vibrant city. Atlanta is incredibly diverse and rapidly growing Southern metropolis. If you love food and drink, there are numerous options, including the famous Ponce City and Krog Street Markets. Music lovers can go see a show at the Fox, Philips Arena, Roxy, or one of the many other venues around the city. Sports fans have an array of quality options with the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, and United. Atlanta is also home to an eclectic mix of music, food, and cultural festivals. Still, Atlanta has ample access to nature through venues such as Piedmont Park, Stone Mountain, and the Chattahoochee. Whatever you love to see and do, Atlanta offers plenty of opportunities!

Again, thank you for your interest in our program! We hope that you’ll take some time to explore Emory. We are also more than happy to answer any questions that you may have and provide guidance in finding the program that best fits your needs. Feel free to contact us at any time throughout the application process!


Steve Yarmoska, G4, President (syarmos [at] emory [dot] edu)

Kristin Harrington, G1, Vice President (kristin [dot] harrington [at] emory [dot] edu)

Dan Whittingslow, G3, Treasurer (d [dot] c [dot] whittingslow [at] emory [dot] edu)