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Acad Med. 2013 Jun;88(6):745-7. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828ffeeb.

Preparing MD-PhD students for clinical rotations: navigating the interface between PhD and MD training.

Author information

1
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, USA. charles.goldberg@va.gov

Abstract

Many aspects of MD-PhD training are not optimally designed to prepare students for their future roles as translational clinician-scientists. The transition between PhD research efforts and clinical rotations is one hurdle that must be overcome. MD-PhD students have deficits in clinical skills compared with those of their MD-only colleagues at the time of this transition. Reimmersion programs (RPs) targeted to MD-PhD students have the potential to help them navigate this transition.The authors draw on their experience creating and implementing an RP that incorporates multiple types of activities (clinical exam review, objective structured clinical examination, and supervised practice in patient care settings) designed to enhance the participants' skills and readiness for clinical efforts. On the basis of this experience, they note that MD-PhD students' time away from the clinical environment negatively affects their clinical skills, causing them to feel underprepared for clinical rotations. The authors argue that participation in an RP can help students feel more comfortable speaking with and examining patients and decrease their anxiety regarding clinical encounters. The authors propose that RPs can have positive outcomes for improving the transition from PhD to clinical MD training in dual-degree programs. Identifying and addressing this and other transitions need to be considered to improve the educational experience of MD-PhD students.

PMID:
23708597
PMCID:
PMC3882192
DOI:
10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828ffeeb
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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