M.D./Ph.D. Program

M.D./Ph.D. Program

Educating physician-scientists to bridge biomedical research and clinical care

The University of Louisville School of Medicine offers a Physician Scientist training program for the fulfillment of requirements for M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The comprehensive program includes two years in pre-clinical medical training, followed by graduate training in one of U of L's basic research departments, and two years of medical rotations for clinical training.

The small size of the program ensures a high quality training experience providing individualized attention to its students. As a UofL MD/PhD student you'll experience great flexibility in designing a research program and have exceptional access to a wide variety of research experiences in top-flight research laboratories. You will receive hands-on experience in the patient simulation center and work with standardized patients beginning in the first year. A wide variety of clinical experiences are available through our hospital partnerships in Louisville and statewide.

Applicants should have fulfilled prerequisites for admission to the School of Medicine (including the MCAT standardized examination) and have a proven commitment to biomedical research.

Students in the program will receive full tuition remission, a stipend during all phases of the curriculum, and health insurance during the graduate research phase.


The program combines pre-clinical coursework, graduate coursework, and fundamental biomedical research, resulting in a dissertation and a Ph.D. degree, and clinical training, which will result in an M.D. degree. These two approaches emphasize the interface between biomedical science and clinical practice that is necessary in treating patients in tomorrow's world and investigating the basis of their disease. The program is outlined below:

SUMMER RESEARCH prior to Medical School Year One

Medical School Year One:

Clinical Anatomy, Development & Physicial Examination (CADE): 19-week course in fall semester that integrates Gross Anatomy, Embryology, and Physical Examination content by body region.

Molecular Basis of Life, Defense and Disease: 16-week course in spring semester that integrates foundational biochemistry, medical genetics, immunology, tissue and body fluid physiology, pathology, and pharmacology to introduce immunologic function in disease and health; normal cellular and tissue histology in health, injury, and healing; foundational microbiology; and mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of neoplastic and hematologic diseases.

Introduction to Biostatistics and Evidence-Based Medicine: 2-week course in spring semester that concentrates principles of biomedical research, foundational statistics, medical informatics, and application of evidence to patient care.

 Introduction to Clinical Medicine 1 (ICM 1): Year-long course that covers foundational patient interviewing skills, professionalism and ethics, medical system structure and health disparities, cultural competency, provision of health maintenance and use of health guidelines.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 (USMLE Step 1)

SUMMER RESEARCH in between MS Year One and MS Year Two

Medical School Year Two:

Systems in Health and Disease 1: 19-week course in fall semester that integrates the normal physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, nutritional/metabolic, and endocrine systems with their pathophysiologic function in disease, progression from normal histologic appearance to pathologic appearance, infecting microbes, and applicable pharmacologic treatments.

Systems in Health and Disease 2: 14-week course in spring semester that integrates the normal physiology of the reproductive, dermatologic, musculoskeletal, and behavioral systems as well as neurologic system diseases with their pathophysiologic function in disease, progression from normal histologic appearance to pathologic appearance, infecting microbes, and applicable pharmacologic treatments.

Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2 (ICM 2): Year-long course that covers advanced clinical communication skills, specialized physical examination techniques, advanced medical ethics, medical sociaeconomics and healthcare laws.

*Elective: 2 credit hours of electives must be taken during second year.

Graduate Research (Typically 3-4 years)

These years are devoted to the course work and original research to fulfill requirements established by individual basic science departments for receiving a Ph.D. in the respective discipline.

Medical School Year 3

Third Year core clerkships run concurrently throughout the academic year from July to June. The sequence of clerkships is organized on a track basis. 

Core clerkships:

  • Family Medicine (includes AHEC rotation) - 6 weeks
  • Internal Medicine - 8 weeks
  • Neurology - 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics - 6 weeks
  • Psychiatry - 6 weeks
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology - 6 weeks
  • Surgery - 8 weeks
  • Clinical Electives or Vacation - 4 weeks

Medical School Year 4

Fourth Year runs concurrently throughout the academic year from July to early May. Required clinical rotations include:

  • Acting Internship (AI) - 4 weeks
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Ambulatory Rotation (AR) - 4 weeks
  • Critical Care - 2 weeks
  • Palliative Care - 1 week
  • Clinical Electives - 20-24 weeks
  • Topics in Clinical Medicine
  • Residency Interviews

Clerkships and Rotations are completed at multiple clinic sites, including, but not limited to:

  • University of Louisville Hospital
  • Jewish Hospital
  • Kosair Children's Hospital
  • Norton Hospital
  • VA Medical Center

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE Step 2

How to Apply

Applicants to the combined M.D./Ph.D. program must submit applications to the Medical School through the American College Application Service (AMCAS) and the student is required to take the MCAT. If you are interested in being considered for the M.D./Ph.D. program, you should check the appropriate box on the University of Louisville Medical School application when you apply. Checking this box will not influence admission to medical school and interested medical school students are encouraged to explore this option.

The Medical School AMCAS application deadline is October 15.

After initial screening of applications, selected candidates who have indicated an interest in the MD/PhD program will be invited to visit the medical school and interview with both the MD/PhD Committee and School of Medicine Admissions Committee. Exceptional candidates will be contacted to arrange a full day of interviews with members of the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee. The MD/PhD interviews will be set up for the day prior to the Medical School Interview, with MD/PhD INTERVIEWS will be held on Wednesday & Thursday, October 5 & 6, 2016; Wednesday & Thursday, November 2 & 3, 2016; Wednesday & Thursday, December 14 & 15, 2016; and Wednesday & Thursday, January 18 & 19, 2017. Medical School interviews held on the following morning.

Research experience is an important aspect of the MD/PhD interviews, and you should be prepared to discuss why you would like to be a physician/scientist, along with your interests and goals. Upon completion of the interviews, your application and interview evaluations will be reviewed by the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee. Follow-up and feedback information will be made available to M.D./Ph.D. applicants as soon as possible after the interview. Final candidate selection should be made by March of the matriculation year. If you are not offered a position in the M.D./Ph.D. program, you must contact the School of Medicine to let them know if you want to be considered for the Regular M.D. program only.

It is also possible for students currently enrolled in medical school to be admitted to the M.D./Ph.D. Program. Interested students should contact the Co-Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program, Dr. Russell Salter.

The Combined M.D./Ph.D. Program Application Checklist

1.University of Louisville, Medical School Admissions

Abell Administration Center 
Louisville, KY 40202-3866, (502) 852-5193 
Email: medadm@louisville.edu
Website: http://louisville.edu/medicine/admissions

2.American Medical College Application Service

Association of American Medical
Colleges (AAMC) 
Section for Student Services
2501 M Street, NW Lobby-26 
Washington, DC 20037-1300
Email: medadm@louisville.edu
Website: www.aamc.org

Medical College Admissions Test Scores: To be considered for fall admission you should take the MCAT no later than fall prior to the year for which you wish to gain admission. MCAT scores more than two years old are not acceptable. Information regarding the MCAT can be obtained from:

MCAT Registration
The American College Testing Program 
P.O. Box 414, Iowa City, IA 52243 
(319) 337-1276
Email: mcat@aamc.org
Website: www.aamc.org/students/mcat


M.D./Ph.D. Program


Mailing Address:

James Graham Brown Cancer Center
2nd floor Administration
529 South Jackson Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Dr. Donald Miller, Director, MD/PhD Program

Dr. Russell Salter , Co-Director, MD/PhD Program: 502-852-3740, KWing 2028

Victoria King, Program Administrator: 502-562-3829, JGBCC Administration, 2nd floor

Directions:The Health Sciences Center Campus is located in the North Central part of Louisville, near the Ohio River.

PARKING for Medical School Interviews:Visitor parking is available at the East Chestnut Street garage, located on the corner of E. Chestnut St. and S. Preston Street. Medical School Interviews take place in the Abell Administration Building.

PARKING for MD/PhD Interviews:Visitor parking is located on the corner of Clay St. and Muhammad Ali Blvd. behind the Clinical Translational Research Building in the (620) garage. You will be given a parking pass to pay for parking with prior arrangements.

From the North:Take I-65 South to Exit 136 C Jefferson St./Downtown/Brook St. Stay in the far left hand lane of the ramp for Brook St. At the end of the ramp, follow Brook St. one block north to East Market St. and turn right. Go 5 blocks and turn right onto Clay Street. Continue to follow Clay St. for four blocks to reach the parking garage. After crossing Muhammad Ali Blvd, you will see the visitors parking entrance on the right. Pull into the garage and take ticket. A door leading out of the garage is located to the right of the elevators, which are located toward your left as you pull forward. When exiting the garage from that door, you will be located on the south side of the Clinical Translational Research Building, 505 S. Hancock St. The main entrance to the building is located on S. Hancock St, straight ahead and to the right.

From the East or West:Take I-64 or I-71 to I-65 South and follow the directions above.

From the South:I-65 North to Exit 136A, E. Broadway/S. Brook St. Follow S. Brook St. three blocks to E. Chestnut St. Take a right on E. Chestnut St. Go five blocks to Clay St. The U of L parking garage is on the left side of street. Turn left into the visitors entrance to the parking garage and take a ticket to pull into the garage and park. A door leading out of the garage is located to the right of the elevators, which are located toward your left as you pull forward. When exiting the garage from that door, you will be located on the south side of the Clinical Translational Research Building, 505 S. Hancock St. The main entrance to the building is located on S. Hancock St, straight ahead and to the right.