MSTP Curriculum

Journal Club – MED 170.10

This class introduces original research papers and promotes informal discussion about laboratory research between MSTP students and their medical school classmates in the 1st and 2nd years of medical school. The journal club meets Mondays at noon, and is attended and run by the 1st and 2nd year MSTP students. Lunch is provided.

MSTP Seminar Series – MED 170.09

This course is a requirement for 1st year MSTP students. Its main functions are to introduce research into the preclinical years, promote MSTP bonding, and introduce students to potential research topics and faculty mentors. 

Faculty who are excellent research mentors and role models are recommended by the Council, with special emphasis on physician-scientists, past MSTP students, and women. Council members are also included as speakers. Faculty members are asked to review their career paths and discuss how they made their decisions before presenting a rather conceptual and informal research talk. This has been a very popular way to introduce MSTP students to new research topics and new faculty.  MSTP Seminar Series is held Thursdays from 12pm-1pm at the Parnassus campus. Lunch is provided.

Clinical Preceptorship – MED 160.04

This is an elective and clerkship designed specifically to allow MSTP students to maintain their clinical skills and interests during graduate school. Trainees largely design the preceptorship themselves by selecting a UCSF faculty sponsor representing any clinical specialty or subspecialty, and arranging to spend 12-24 hours during a given quarter working with that faculty member in direct patient-contact activities. 

The course can be repeated with different faculty, in any six quarters while the student is in graduate school, and the credits received are applied toward the final years of medical school. It is very popular with our trainees, as it offers flexible scheduling, active learning, and meaningful clinical experience. It also allows our students unrivaled opportunities to work with the best teaching faculty members, to sample diverse clinical specialties early in their careers, and to hone their clinical skills before returning to medical school. Copies of trainees’ evaluations are available through the MSTP Office to help guide other trainees in choosing mentors and preceptorship experiences.

Clinical Case Reviews

MSTP Clinical Case Reviews is a vehicle for PhD-phase MSTPs to practice generating differential diagnoses, presenting orally, and discussing next steps for treatment and prognosis--skills which we think are essential for success in clerkships but perhaps neglected during the research years. We invite a practicing physician to present a case they encountered or a current MSTP student to present a case from a medical journal. Over lunch or dinner, we simulate a patient interview, physical examination, and labs, all while generating a differential diagnosis and discussing how to narrow it through appropriate questions, exams, and tests.

Medicine 170.36 – Into the Clinic

Led by the 4th Year MSTP med students and MSTP director, this course is an intensive re-introduction to clinical medicine for MSTP students completing graduate studies and planning to return to medical school in the spring. The course includes 5 days of didactics where students review and practice history taking, physical exam skills, oral presentations, and analysis of basic clinical data (labs, EKGs etc.) through clinical cases. Skills are reinforced through 5 days of clinical immersion.