Medical Scientist Training Program

Preparing Students to be Physician Scientists

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at UC San Diego combines clinical training in the UC San Diego School of Medicine with research education in a graduate program. Trainees earn both MD and PhD degrees. Students gain expertise in three major areas of academic medicine: research, teaching, and clinical care. The mission of this MSTP is to train students as physician scientists by combining classroom and clinical training in the UC San Diego School of Medicine with education in a graduate school program at UC San Diego.


The curriculum of the UC San Diego MSTP integrates research training with medical education. During the first two years, preclinical trainees use summers and elective time to explore research opportunities at UC San Diego and affiliated research institutions. These research experiences enable students to choose a Graduate Program during the second year of medical school and a thesis lab by the beginning of their third year in the MSTP. Traniees pursue doctoral studies in anthropology, biology, biomedical sciences, bioengineering, biophysics, chemistry/biochemistry, epidemiology, neuroscience or physics. A traniee's field of interest determines the Graduate Program and location of advanced research training. Following completion of requirements for the PhD degree, the traniee resumes medical training in third-year clinical clerkships. Most trainees earn both MD and PhD degrees in about eight years.




Paul Insel, MD

Mailing Address:

9500 Gilman Drive,
Mail Code 0606
La Jolla, CA 92093-0606