Welcome to the UCSD Medical Scientist Training Program. The abundant resources and affiliated research centers at UCSD prove a unique opportunity to pursue training in a variety of fields like neuroscience, biomedical science, epidemiology, biophysics, bioengineering, just to name a few. It is our hope that this website will help eliminate some of the confusion that may arise from being an M.D./Ph.D. student.
From the Director
The mission of this MSTP is to train students as physician scientists by combining classroom and clinical training in the UCSD School of Medicine with education in a graduate school program at UCSD. This mission is driven by our vision that this breadth of training will provide students the necessary background and experience required of them to be able to function as academic physicians ultimately prepared to train subsequent generations of students in science and medicine. By its nature, medical school education is quite broad and ranges from molecularly-based scientific disciplines to humanistic areas, such as behavior, ethics, and cultural bases of health and disease. By contrast, graduate education provides a narrower focus but with substantially greater depth both in terms of coursework and current thinking in a discipline as well as in the development and execution of a doctoral thesis problem. Key goals of the program are for MSTP students to learn to utilize the scientific method, to think imaginatively and creatively, to read critically, and to prepare themselves to work as independent physician scientists. Students will also have experiences in one or more teaching venues during their time in the program and thus will acquire skills in each of the three major domains of an academic physician, i.e. research, teaching, and clinical care. Multiple career paths are available to graduates, but most will choose to obtain further training in one of the specialty areas of medicine while a smaller number will do post-doctoral work in a basic science area. Based on the long-term track record of this program, it is anticipated that at least 95% of graduates will obtain positions as physician scientists at academic health centers or in research institutes. I trust that you will find this handbook, prepared by our current students, as a useful means to learn about aspects of our MSTP and of life at UCSD and in La Jolla.
We're Here to Support You
The MST Program office is located in the Medical Teaching Facility (MTF), room 180, which is the Student Affairs Office of the School of Medicine. The office is always open to you for whatever you may need; please feel free to drop by. We are more than happy to assist you whenever necessary; the Program Representative, Mary Alice Kiisel, can be reached by phone at 534-0689, and by email at
The mailing address of the MSTP is:
University of California, San Diego
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
9500 Gilman Drive MC 0606
La Jolla CA 92092-0606
Phone: 858-534-0689 1-800-925-8704