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Special Features of the MD/PhD Program

Annual Retreat

The annual Emory MD/PhD student retreat brings the entire student body together to welcome the incoming M1 students. The two-day retreat is held every August at an off-campus resort, and includes a variety of scientific talks, social events, and workgroup and feedback sessions. A keynote address, given by a prominent member of the scientific community, discusses topics such as health care policy, clinical trials, science in industry, or other issues relevant to aspiring physician scientists. Poster presentations provide graduate year students with an opportunity to present their data and to compete for the chance to represent Emory at the national MD/PhD student conference in Denver, CO. Students at a transition point (starting the M1 year, starting graduate school or returning to the wards post-PhD) participate in sessions tailored to their needs. The student body also nominates and elects student officers for the upcoming academic year. Finally, a variety of workgroup sessions allow students to give program administrators feedback on changes and improvements they would like the program adopt.

Journal Club

The M1/M2 Journal Club is a one credit hour biweekly course required of all first and second year MD/PhD students in the medical school Foundations curriculum. The course serves to initiate new students into the program and to integrate their medical studies with current research literature focusing on: 1) critical evaluation of the literature; 2) rationale for experimental design; and 3) presenting the broad relevance of the topics. The primary goals of the course are to develop a critical approach to reading the primary literature, to augment understanding of various methods employed for biological and biomedical research, and to enhance presentation skills required to present complex data to a broad scientific audience. 

Clinical Research Conference (CRC)

The MD/PhD Program's Clinical Research Conference (CRC) is a monthly student-led conference designed to provide the students with exposure to translational medicine. Students in the graduate phase of training are matched, in sets of threes, with a physician-scientist mentor with whom they work with in a clinical setting. At CRC, the group presents clinical findings, pertinent pathophysiology related to the case, and cutting edge research related to the case. CRC has several objectives: 1) foster collegiality and program unity as well as provide an opportunity for student mentoring and camaraderie, 2) provide students with direct exposure to clinical and research specialties of physician-scientists at Emory University, 3) provide continued clinical exposure to those students in their graduate training years and a direct view of how basic science integrates and translates into clinical practice, 4) develop and strengthen presentation skills. CRCs are typically followed by a student organized social event in a nearby neighborhood location. Some CRC meetings are reserved for professional development activities and town hall meetings.

Clinical Refresher Course

The goal of this course is to help MD/PhD students transition from graduate school to full time work in the wards. The course focuses on physical exam skills, proficiency in presenting a patient on rounds, generating a differential diagnosis that is used to to craft the patient history and physical, and developing a diagnostic/treatment plan. Furthermore, the course covers common diseases seen on wards and the associated clinical presentations, disease processes, and management. The course takes place over two weeks.