The clinical phase of the program includes most of the clerkships normally taken by third-year medical students, two acting internships (4 weeks each), and one additional four-week elective that are normally part of the fourth year. MD/PhD students are required to take a family medicine rotation (* this can be either the third year clerkship or a 4th year elective), but are not required to take the MSIII three-week selective or scholar's week. The clinical phase comprises 14 months of required classes. An extra 2-3 months of electives are allowed to facilitate appropriate scheduling. Additional time is allowed off for residency interviews and time for study and preparation for the part 2 of the National Boards (USMLE). All MSTP students are assigned to the Birmingham campus for their clinical training. However, elective rotations at other institutions (potential sites for residency and fellowship training) are available. The MSTP covers tuition for up to three semesters of clinical training.


The bulk of the clinical phase consists of the clinical clerkships normally taken during the third year of Medical School. These include 8-week blocks in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology and 4-week blocks in Psychiatry, Neurology, and Family Practice. The Family Practice clerkship may either be taken during the third and fourth clinical years of the curriculum or it may be taken immediately following the completion of the 2nd year of medical school, prior to staring the final summer research rotation. The normal requirements for the fourth year of medical school are substantially abbreviated for MSTP students because the elective requirements can be satisfied by the Ph.D. research. Only 3 elective rotations (4-week blocks) are required, two of which must be acting internships. Depending on the month during the calendar year a student returns to the clinical clerkships, up to three additional four-week block electives may be taken with additional time off for travel to residency interviews and completion of part two of the USMLE boards.

 Clinical Phase
3rd Year Clerkships 4th Year Electives
Internal Medicine 8wks Acting Internship in Medicine 4wks
Surgery 8wks Surgery, Critical Care, Ambulatory, or Elective Acting Internship 4wks
Pediatrics 8wks Elective 4wks
Psychiatry 4wks Total 12wks
Neurology 4wks    
Obstetrics/Gynecology 8wks Optional Electives 8wks
Family Practice * 4wks    
Total 44wks