During the first and second years, courses emphasize the medical sciences as grounding for understanding health and illness. Students have opportunities to interact early in their medical training with healthy subjects as well as with individuals with various clinical disorders. In the summer between Year I and Year II, students have opportunities to conduct research. During the last two years of study, students in the HST MD program join their classmates in the Pathways Harvard Medical School curriculum in clinical clerkships. HST-sponsored advanced clinical electives are also available.
Every HST student must present evidence of scholarly work in the form of an MD thesis based on laboratory research, clinical investigation, or, under special circumstances, critical analysis of a significant medical problem. A written thesis proposal must be submitted by October 31 of the second year, and the thesis itself by the first Monday in February of Year IV. A thesis committee composed of members of the faculty must approve each proposal and thesis. Many of the theses are submitted for and succeed in receiving "honors in a special field" awarded with the MD degree. Students pursuing the combined MD-PhD Program are considered to have satisfied the HST research requirement with their PhD thesis.
To create and nurture a diverse community of the best people committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease