As a current, or prospective, Wake Forest MD program student, you may be forward thinking enough to be proactively seeking ways to differentiate your eventual application for a residency match. While some informal research training in the form of a summer research experience while an MD student may be helpful, an alternative worth considering is the pursuit of a formal MS degree. An option worth considering is our joint degree offering between the MD program and the Master of Science program in Translational and Health System Science.
The MD/MS program in Translational and Health System Science is a joint degree offering shared by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the Biomedical Graduate Programs of the Wake Forest University Graduate School. In this integrated program, you will complete the full curricula for both of the independent programs, with transitions between the two programs that allows you to focus on one degree at a time.
While an MD/PhD is also offered by the School of Medicine and the Biomedical Graduate Programs Office, some students feel more comfortable with the MD/MS owing to the shorter time to degree associated with this joint degree variant.
Why include the Translational and Health System Science MS in your MD training? The program has, at its core, the goal of transforming MDs into physician-scientists, without the 3+ year commitment of an MD/PhD pursuit. Training in the MS component is focused on helping you establish the skillset needed to implement rigorous research in the health care system and the community to disseminate findings that improve human health.
Other key reasons include:
- Plans of study limited to ~12–15 months
- Capstone project focused on grant preparation skills
- Two tracks to choose from, allowing you to further distinguish yourself from peers