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Director's Welcome

Paul Insel

Welcome to the website for the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the UCSD School of Medicine. We hope that this site will offer prospective and current students useful information about our Program.

Students who choose to pursue joint M.D. and Ph.D. degrees through our MSTP are uniquely positioned to become leading physician-scientists. Our students can choose among multiple nearby research institutions (in addition to UCSD) at which to conduct graduate training, including The Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. These Institutes are all within walking distance which makes the La Jolla research community highly collaborative and gives students the opportunity for broad and deep research experiences. 


Our students also receive an outstanding pre-clinical and clinical education. Most MSTP students are involved in the UCSD Student-Run Free Medical Clinics, which give students the opportunity to interview, examine, diagnose, and with supervision, treat patients who are most in need. Experiences in the Free Medical Clinics plus the UCSD teaching hospitals in La Jolla and San Diego and the close proximity to the border provide students with access to a highly diverse range of patients.  

Graduating its first class in 1972, the UCSD School of Medicine is a well-established, dynamic, and rapidly growing institution, in terms of its research, clinical, and educational missions. Proximity to other world-renowned research institutions, strong clinical and research programs, as well as the natural beauty of its surroundings make UCSD and its MSTP a unique and wonderful environment to pursue M.D.-Ph.D. training.

Since support for the UCSD MSTP from the National Institutes of Health began in 1974, more than 85% of our MSTP alumni have obtained positions as physician-scientists at academic health centers or research institutes. We are confident that our Program can provide students with an educational experience needed to excel as physician-scientists and welcome you to explore our website.


Paul A. Insel, M.D. 

Neil Chi, M.D., Ph.D.

MSTP Co-Directors