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Why choose VCU?

  • Small program size. We typically admit eight students per year into the program, with a program total of about 50 to 55 students. This size allows us to have an intimate setting and environment.
  • Outstanding clinical as well as basic science training. The VCU Medical Center, which includes the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, is one of the largest medical centers in the country and cares for the sickest patients in the area. Full-time clinical faculty are devoted to teaching and providing opportunities for clinical experience.
  • Clinical rotations before beginning graduate work. Because the M1 and M2 years have been shortened to 18 months in the New Medical School Curriculum there is a gap of 16 weeks between taking the USMLE Step 1 boards and the beginning of graduate school at the end of the summer. All students will take an 8 week block of M3 clinical rotations at this time so that they may be better able to understand and apply translational aspects of their basic science research.
  • Flexible rotation back into clinical years. Following a successful defense of their PhD thesis, students will be able to return to M3 anytime between April and September. This is due to their having already completed 8 weeks of M3 and the flexibility of the new M3 curriculum. This provides an ample buffer for completing their thesis research and scheduling their thesis defense without being out of phase with the other medical students.
  • Student involvement in the program. M.D.-Ph.D. students are involved in all phases of the program, from admissions to interviewing to seminar and retreat organization. Two students, chosen by their peers, serve as presidents and sit on the program steering committee. 
  • Exposure to clinical and translational science through our Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR).