The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is a combined MD and PhD degree program that was established in 1983 to offer exceptionally talented individuals the opportunity to undertake a physician-scientist training program tailored to their specific research interests. The Robotics Institute has partnered with the MSTP to provide focused education and research opportunities in the areas of medical robotics, imaging, and neural engineering. Students participating in the MD/PhD program first apply to the MSTP program and then apply to the Robotics Institute PhD program.
Students in the MD / PhD program fulfill all of the requirements of the University of Pittsburgh medical school program as well as the requirements of the Robotics PhD program. Students follow an intense schedule of medical school courses, robotics coursework, and graduate research under the guidance of Robotics Institute faculty members who specialize in medically related research. The program includes up to three summer lab rotations at the Robotics Institute during the first two years of medical school, where students learn basic research practices and gain experience with medical robotics research problems, followed by a full PhD program, after which the student finishes medical school.