Director's Message

Congratulations on reaching the UNM Health Sciences Center, MD-PhD program website and your interest in considering a dual degree program to develop your career as a physician-scientist leader in academic medicine. Many physicians dedicate part of their careers to successful research programs and you are probably asking why you want to complete a PhD degree in combination with MD training. One answer may be your dream to provide care for patients, understand their unmet needs, and pursue leading edge research to better define their illness and develop new treatments and cures. With the MD and PhD degrees you will be a physician with formal training in hypothesis based research, special knowledge and skills in biomedical technology and the ability to translate discovery into clinical practice. Dual degree programs take additional time and substantial commitment but the reward will be a career of near limitless diversity as a physician-scientist.

Our program provides state of the art training in both clinical sciences and in one of a number of basic biomedical disciplines including: cancer biology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neurological and developmental disorders, infectious and immunological illnesses, toxicology and pharmacology, and biochemical bases of disease. The MD-PhD program takes advantage of the extensive skills and knowledge of a diverse and talented faculty and outstanding institutional scientific resources to offer extremely high-quality training. Like many dual degree programs this one typically begins with the first 2 years of the medical school curriculum, followed by 3-5 years of the graduate school and dissertation research, and concludes with the remaining 2 years of the medical school curriculum. The program is designed to be completed in 7-9 years and our students complete both degrees in an average of 7.5 years.

The UNM Health Sciences Center is located in Albuquerque, NM. The HSC is one of only 29 institutions nationwide with both a Clinical and Translational Science Center and a NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Albuquerque is a mile-high city with big blue skies, clean air and one of the most pleasant climates in the nation. The culture of the city is a blend of Native-American, Hispanic, and European flavors. Albuquerque is surrounded by the spectacular Sandia and Manzano mountains peaking at 10,600 ft on the east, and the Rio Grande and its shady bosque flowing at ~5000 ft on the west. The Jemez Mountains with their hot springs and outdoor recreation are close by. These places provide a wide range of recreational opportunities, including bicycling, hiking, fishing, skiing and bird watching. Major tourist destinations such as Santa Fe and Taos are an easy drive from Albuquerque. Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, made famous by legendary artist Georgia O’Keefe, is within easy driving distance. New Mexico is an ideal environment for growing professionally and developing a career as a physician-scientist while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

We invite you to learn more about our program by exploring our web site. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, and we look forward to an opportunity to meet you, discuss your goals and help you achieve your dreams as a physician-scientist. Come visit and see what we have to offer!

Corey Ford, MD, PhD
Director, MD/PhD Program