The University of Iowa

Medical Scientist Training Program

Carver College of Medicine

Program Structure

The MSTP Curriculum is Designed to Integrate the Scientific Approach and Clinical Medicine.

MSTP Curriculum for students entering after 2014

MSTP Curriculum Structure

The New MD Curriculum


MSTP Curriculum prior to 2014

Years 1-2

Trainees spend the first two years enrolled in the basic science and introductory clinical portions of the medical curriculum, providing a broad exposure to the language and organizing concepts that form the foundation for a career as a physician scientist. They also begin the research component of the program through summer laboratory rotations and participation in research oriented seminars.  This phase culminates in sitting for Step One of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam followed by a  6-week core clinical clerkship in Internal Medicine and a 2-week clerkship of choice. This gives trainees a broad exposure to the spectrum of human disease and gives them experience with direct patient care prior to their entry into the graduate phase of training.

Incoming Summer (optional)

Year 1


Year 2


Years 3-4

Trainees spend the next 3-4 years in graduate training engaging in academic and research experiences that promote their development into independent investigators. Clinical contact is maintained during this phase of training through a course called Clinical Connections.

Years 5-6

Year 7

Trainees spend the final year of training in the clinical environment where they bring a sophistication in laboratory science which can be applied to problems of human disease. At this time, clinical skills acquired in their early training are renewed and further developed and the scientific basis of disease is reinforced.

Programs Running Throughout Training

Trainees participate in several events scheduled throughout their training that focus on the scientific basis of disease and provide forums for discussions that emphasize how science and medicine intersect.