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University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH)

Program Overview

The program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH) at the University of Chicago trains medical students to become innovative physician-scholars at the critical interface of medicine and society. The MeSH program is an opportunity for students interested in obtaining an MD and a PhD in a field outside of the traditional biological and physical sciences. Former students have pursued PhDs in such wide ranging fields as anthropology, conceptual and historical studies of science, economics, public policy, and social service administration. Started in 1985, MeSH is one of the only programs of its kind in the country.

After gaining admissions, incoming MeSH students are integrated into the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), where they receive administrative support, access to interdisciplinary workshops and courses, and mentorship. Consisting of 3-4 faculty members from across the University, mentorship teams provide ongoing support and advisement to MeSH students as they progress through both medical school and their respective PhD programs. The core MeSH faculty, a cadre of institutionally and nationally prominent investigators, represent a wide range of federally and privately funded collaborative projects. They also provide MeSH students unique opportunities to participate in very cohesive, interactive health services research and social science groups throughout campus.

Prospective students may apply to MeSH through one of two tracks:

  • MSTP-MeSH Track: Prospective students apply simultaneously to both the Pritzker School of Medicine and a PhD program of interest at the University of Chicago.
  • MeSH National Track: Students who have been accepted into any medical school in the country can apply to a PhD program of interest at the University of Chicago.

 

  • MSTP-MeSH Track
  • National Track

MSTP-MeSH Track

Prospective students interested in earning an MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine and a PhD from a social science program at the University of Chicago should apply to MeSH through the MSTP-MeSH Track.

Students may apply to any PhD program(s) of interested in the social sciences (or the Department of Public Health Sciences) or related professional schools (Booth School of Business, Harris School of Public Policy, School of Social Service Administration) at the University of Chicago. Students interested in both the study of aging and one or more of the following PhD departments are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Booth School of Business
  • Comparative Human Development
  • Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
  • Economics
  • Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • Psychology
  • Public Health Sciences
  • School of Social Service Administration
  • Sociology

 

Application Procedures

Students apply online through the Pritzker application portal and select that they are applying to MSTP-MeSH.

Students applying only to the Department of Public Health Sciences for their PhD training will not have to submit an outside application to this department. Students applying to other social science departments will have to submit separate applications to any PhD program(s) of interest.

Funding

Funding varies by research interests. Students applying to a PhD in economics, public policy, or public health sciences may be eligible for funding through MSTP. Students interested in aging and one or more of the quantitative social science departments listed above may be eligible for funding through the National Institute on Aging.

For more information

View MeSH page on the Pritzker website here: https://pritzker.uchicago.edu/jointdegrees/mesh/

You may also visit the CHeSS website for additional information: http://chess.uchicago.edu/MeSH

You may also contact:

David Meltzer, MD, PhD
MeSH Program Director
Professor of Medicine, Economics, and Public Policy Studies
dmeltzer@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

Kelsey Bogue
MeSH Program Administrator
kbogue@bsd.uchicago.edu

National Track

The MeSH National Track provides tuition and stipend support to MD-PhD students who will receive an MD from any medical school in the United States and a PhD from a graduate program at the University of Chicago.

Students interested in applying to the MeSH National Track must pursue a doctoral degree in the quantitative social sciences and demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the study of aging. Candidates should apply to one or more of the PhD programs listed here:

  • Booth School of Business
  • Comparative Human Development
  • Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
  • Economics
  • Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • Psychology
  • Public Health Sciences
  • School of Social Service Administration
  • Sociology

 

Application Procedures

Prospective students should apply to the MeSH National Track before their first, second, or third year of medical school. Students must apply separately and gain admissions to both the MeSH National Track at CHeSS and any graduate program(s) of interest.

Students accepted to the MeSH National Track prior to starting medical school will be advised to complete two years of graduate school and then two years of medical training. Then, students will return to UChicago to complete their PhD before finishing their medical training. For students accepted to the MeSH National Track after their first or second year of medical school, we recommend that they complete the PhD in one stretch of four years before returning to their third year of medical school. This timeline will minimize gaps in clinical training. Students who have already begun their medical training will also participate in clinical shadowing opportunities with program faculty during their graduate training at UChicago.

MeSH National Track students will receive ongoing support and advisement as they progress through both medical school and their respective PhD programs. Mentorship teams will include at least one faculty member with an MD-PhD and one faculty member from the student’s PhD program. Later in the program, students will select a formal mentorship team, which will also include at least one core faculty member in aging.

Funding and Eligibility

MeSH National Track students receive tuition and stipend support for their graduate training at UChicago. Funding from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) provides one year of tuition and stipend support for trainees during their PhD training, and each student’s PhD program provides support for the remaining years of graduate training. The MeSH National Track does not provide any tuition assistance or financial support for medical school.

Prospective students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S to be eligible for the MeSH National Track.

Application Instructions and Timeline

Prospective students must apply to the National Track program on the Center for Health and Social Science website as well as to any PhD programs of interest.

For more information

View the website here: http://chess.uchicago.edu/page/mesh-national-track

You may also contact:

David Meltzer, MD, PhD
MeSH Program Director
Professor of Medicine, Economics, and Public Policy Studies
dmeltzer@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

Kelsey Bogue
MeSH Program Administrator
kbogue@bsd.uchicago.edu