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MSTP Professional Development

Senior Physician Scientist Advisor Program

The Senior Physician Scientist Advisor Program pairs students with Senior Physician Scientist (SPS) Mentors. Students and advisors are matched based on clinical interests and research expertise. Students meet with their SPS mentors at least twice a year throughout their MD/PhD training. This program is designed to guide students in decision making and prepare them for their future careers.


Each year, all MSTP students, leadership, and staff participate in two retreats, one during the fall semester and the other in the spring. Depending on the retreat topic and agenda, the events often feature different UC and CCHMC speakers (faculty, residents, and/or fellows) and at times, also feature UC MSTP alumni in different career paths and stages of their training.  The fall retreat is a full-day event focused on career development. Past topics include physician scientist career pathways, creating work-life balance, career advising, manuscript writing, integrating research into residency, and grant-writing workshops. The spring retreat consists of a program-sponsored weekend getaway to a local resort. Student presentations (oral and poster) are a component of this event, as are building relationships among students. Special time is also dedicated to celebrate student accomplishments, honor current-year graduates, and share peer advice from older students. Past topics include health and wellness, networking and mentorship, giving effective presentations and feedback, and team building and effective communication.

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The UC MSTP is proud to be the first MSTP in the country to have developed a web-based IDP available to all students and specific to the MD/PhD program. The IDP is designed to facilitate success in the MSTP by empowering students to develop and track their goals and milestones.

MSTP Transition Series

The Transition Series is one of the most attractive and unique features of our program. It was constructed by our leadership team based on feedback from our students and faculty, and it is highly regarded by applicants and current students.  This important series provides timely support and guidance to students prior to each critical transition point in their MD/PhD training.  The meetings are led by members of MSTP Leadership and also include peer advice sharing from MSTP students in later years of their training.  Additionally, the attendees at each session receive various MSTP-created resources that provide helpful information and reminders to keep students on-track with their training timeline and goals. 


SessionAttendees Purpose
MSTP Orientation Incoming M1sIntroduce incoming M1 students to MSTP Leadership, students, policies, and resources.
M1 Study SkillsM1s Discuss study habits and skills to help with success in M1 coursework.
Planning for M2 M1sDiscuss research rotations and planning for M2 coursework.
Planning for PhD (2-Part Series)Rising G1s & their PIs,
G1s & their PIs
Plan for graduate years (designing experiments, managing time, and writing).
Halfway CelebrationRising G3sCelebrate four years in the program, and discuss future plans/goals with MSTP Leadership.
Planning Re-Entry (3-Part Series)Graduate student planning re-entry to medical school & their PIsPlan for re-entry to medical school.
M4 Advising &
Dean's Letter & Residency Applications
Rising M4sReceive M4 advising, review MSPE, and discuss plans for residency applications.

MSTP Faculty Mentor & Graduate Program Research Series

In this weekly series, MSTP M1 students gather to meet with research faculty and graduate program directors. These meetings introduce students to the wide variety of research areas available at UC and CCHMC, giving students an overall picture of MSTP graduate programs, and ultimately aiding students in selecting lab rotations, graduate programs, dissertation advisors, and dissertation committee members. 

Biomedical Science Seminar / Journal Club

Students participate in a weekly journal club designed to bridge basic science and translational research with clinical practice. Student leaders choose journal articles for use as case studies on a given topic and engage in lively discussions.  The course provides valuable experience to students in critiquing papers, discussing the scientific questions being addressed, and learning how to take all the data gathered and deliver a clear narrative. The fall semester course curriculum often focuses on different lab techniques, and incorporates MSTP graduate student co-presenters knowledgeable on the different methods.  The spring semester course curriculum typically expands upon topics in the concurrent medical school curriculum.

Summer Forum on Clinical & Translational Research

This course is a student favorite!  It is a weekly forum created in partnership with our institutional CTSA and is centered on translational research.  The forum is historically divided into three modules: Designing Research, Conducting Research, and Interpreting Research.  The final module focuses on quantitative methods. Some semesters instead focus on "hot topics" in research and medicine (ex: "COVID & Fast Track Publishing," "Telehealth," "Genome Editing & Gene Therapy in Practice," "Organoids & Clinical Practice," etc.), and incorporate different faculty co-presenters who are knowledgeable on each topic. 

Interactions with Prominent Physicians and Scientists Series

While seminars and course work are important components of MD/PhD training, it is crucial that students also directly interact with prominent figures in research and medicine. The UC MSTP connects students with dynamic leaders through distinguished guest lecturers and small-group meetings. Meetings facilitate discussion on the career paths and experiences of prominent physician scientists, and provide opportunities for students to receive guidance in their individual training and career planning. 

Program Meetings

Program Meetings are bi-monthly gatherings of MSTP students, leadership and staff which foster camaraderie among students in all stages of the program. This recurring event provides a venue for regular discussion of program updates and any issues, and gives students the opportunity to learn more about the scientific research of their MSTP peers through individual student presentations.  Depending on the meeting agenda, some program meetings also include additional presentations, such as relevant trainings, interactive clinical case presentations, faculty research presentations in developing fields on the cutting edge of science, and student presentations promoting any valuable - but not widely known academic/research opportunities on both national and institutional levels.

Contact Us

Medical Scientist
Training Program

Medical Sciences Building
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670552
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0552

Mail Location: 0552