Medical Training

The UCSF School of Medicine provides exceptional medical training to its students.

Its constantly evolving innovative curriculum includes case-based and integrated block courses in the first two years, third year Intersessions, fourth year Areas of Concentration, a digital curriculum called iROCKET, and the Academy of Medical Educators, which offers unique institutional support for teaching excellence.

In the latest ranking of the best medical schools by U.S News & World Report, UCSF ranked third in both research and primary care— the only school to rank high in both categories. The UCSF School of Medicine (SOM) encourages its students to incorporate inquiry, innovation and discovery throughout their careers, from the classroom to private practice, the government sector, academic medicine or other pursuits.

Returning to Medical School

We strictly enforce the rule that a trainee’s thesis must be approved and signed by their thesis committee before their return to medical school. With that in mind, students who are approaching completion of their PhD attend a mandatory meeting with the School of Medicine (SOM) Clerkship Coordinator in December prior to the year they plan on reentering medical school. In this meeting, students arrange a schedule for the final 18 - 24 months of clinical clerkships. The SOM is very supportive of our students’ requests and works diligently to accommodate them.

Students typically return to medical school between April and June. With the new Bridges Curriculum being implemented, students going back to Medical School in 2018 or later will have the option to return either in January or July.

Our trainees follow the same curriculum as regular medical students during their clinical years. The content and organization of these years has been evolving, but they generally comprise roughly 12 months of required clerkships and at least 6 months of advanced electives. Because we stop supporting our students from the NIH training grant after their fourth year, each student remains eligible for up to 24 months of further NIH support during the clinical years before exhausting his/her lifetime of eligibility. This allows some trainees to pursue additional electives, which is often helpful in choosing and competing for residencies. The medical school administration has always been very flexible and accommodating in allowing our trainees to tailor their clerkship schedules according to their career goals.

See the Program Timeline page for information on how the medical training portion of the MSTP fits into the overall program timeline. More details about the MSTP medical school curriculm can be found on the Curriculum page.

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