MD/PhD in Biomedical Informatics

Program Overview

Students accepted into the MD/PhD Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine may choose to complete their PhD training in the BMI program. Completion of the PhD degree in the BMI program will typically take 4 years.

Program requirements for the PhD and the MD/PhD are very similar except that the MD/PhD students receive credit for medical school coursework completed prior to entering the BMI program. To remain in the MD / PhD program, it is critical to complete the dissertation defense by October of the sixth year. During the PhD program, students are required to complete three longitudinal clinical clerkships.


Coursework and Credit Requirements

A minimum of 72 credits is required for the PhD over a minimum of 6 full-time terms. Full-time student status requires 9 to 14 credits in the fall and spring terms and 3 credits in the summer term. The credit requirements for the PhD in the MD/PhD BMI program are:

  • 15 credits are given for coursework completed during the first two years of medical school
  • A minimum of 36 credits come from BMI coursework including 20 credits of BMI required coursework and 16 credits of elective coursework and/or independent study
  • 3 credits come from the teaching practicum (BIOINF 3998)
  • A total  of 18 credits come from doctoral dissertation research (BIOINF 3999)

 

Program Timetable

GS - S1
Summer

BMI lab rotation

 

MS1
Fall / Spring

Medical school courses

First year of medical school.

GS - S2
Summer

BMI lab rotation

 

MS2
Fall / Spring

Medical school courses

Second year of medical school.

MS2.5
Summer

8 week long clinical clerkship

 

GS - S3
Summer

BMI lab rotation

 

GS1
Fall

BMI coursework:

  • BIOINF 2070 Foundations of Biomedical Informatics 1 (3 credits)
  • CS 1501 Algorithm Implementation (3 credits)
  • CS 2710 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (3 credits)
  • BIOINF 2032 Biomedical Informatics Journal Club (1 credit)

MD/PhD students enter the BMI program with an academic standing of second year PhD students. The course work from medical school years one and two are accepted for 15 credits. Other requirements (doctoral comprehensive exam, doctoral dissertation proposal and doctoral disertation defense) are the same for the MD/PhD students as they are for the PhD students.

GS1
Spring

BMI coursework:

  • BIOINF 2071 Foundations of Biomedical Informatics 2 (3 credits)
  • BIOINF 2118 Statistical Foundations of Biomedical Informatics (3 credits)
  • BIOINF 2032 Biomedical Informatics Journal Club (1 credit)
  • Elective course (3 credits)

 

GS1
Summer

BMI research

  • Elective course (3 credits) or
  • BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)

 

GS2
Fall

BMI coursework:

  • BIOINF 2134 Publications & Presentation in Biomedical Informatics (3 credits)
  • Elective course (3 or more credits) or
  • BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)

 

GS2
Spring

BMI coursework & research:

  • BIOINF 3998 Teaching Practicum (3 credits)
  • Elective course (3 or more credits) or
  • BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)

 

GS2
Summer

BMI research

  • Elective course (3 credits) or
  • BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)

Comprehensive examination

Nominate Doctoral Dissertation Committee

GS3 – GS4

BMI research

  • BIOINF 3999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (18 credits)
  • BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study
  • FTDS 0000 Full-time Dissertaton Study

 

GS3 - Doctoral Dissertation Proposal

GS4 - Doctoral Dissertation Defense

 

MS3 – MS4

60 weeks of required clerkships. Elective rotations may include additional research or clinical experiences.

Third and fourth years of medical school

 

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