The MD/PhD Programme at the University of Turin was established in 2012 in response to the need for doctors capable of directing research at the interface between biology and medicine. The educational goal is to instruct a selected group of medical students to develop an interest and expertise in research and to motivate them to continue their research education after graduation with the acquisition of the PhD degree. This Programme prepares young doctors to work in clinical, translational and basic science, which will ultimately lead to the development and implementation of new approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In particular, these doctors will be better equipped to adapt to new disciplines and drive biomedical research projects, rather than just contributing to them.
The Programme is a track of the Medical School that provides training in both medicine and research. During the 6-year MD degree, the students take all the courses in the regular MD curriculum and additional courses focused on advanced research topics, leading to a MD-PhD certification, called "Diploma in Medicina Sperimentale". To achieve this certification, the students will take a maximum of three advanced courses, among several available, and prepare a research-based thesis for graduation. The advanced courses are mainly practical and consist in training and working in the laboratories and wards of the School of Medicine. After obtaining the MD degree and the MD-PhD certification, students can choose (but are not obligated) to enrol in a post-graduate PhD Programme. Students that have completed the MD/PhD certification can complete the PhD Programme on an accelerated schedule.
This path is designed for medical students who have outstanding credentials and are highly motivated to become research physicians, also known as physician-scientists.
Applications are open to students at the end of their first year of study in any Italian Medical School in good academic standing. Applicants must have an arithmetic grade point average of 28/30 and have no grade below 24/30. Selection is based on an entrance examination consisting of two written tests and one interview. Candidates are ranked based on the examination scores. The top five students are admitted to the Programme and also enrol in the second year of the MD degree at University of Turin. Admitted students must pass all the courses of the 1st year of the medical curriculum by the end of the fall session and of the first year of enrolment in their current university and maintain the minimum 28/30 grade point average to stay in the Programme.
Scholars admitted to the Programme do not pay tuition fees, receive a scholarship for living expenses and can apply for free housing in a university residence. Moreover, scholars will have access to funding for internships in national and international institutions.
The updated version of the Programme Regulation has been approved by the Academic Senate of the University of Turin on July 2018 and can be downloaded here (Italian version).