MD-PhD Program in Medicine and Medical Sciences

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The curriculum combines medical studies toward an MD degree (in Hebrew) with research studies toward a PhD degree.

The program is designed for outstanding students with a B.Sc. degree, admitted to or already studying medicine at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine.

Students in the program will be exempt from tuition fees for their PhD studies, and receive a living expense stipend for the period during which they interrupt their studies of medicine in order to study toward the PhD degree.

Students will complete both curricula, as follows:

1.5 years of pre-clinical work

3 years of research toward the PhD degree

2.5 years of clinical work

The research component starts during the summer vacation at the end of the first year of medical studies (for those who finished one year of medicine). At the end of the summer break, students return to pre-clinical studies for six months, after which they engage in the PhD studies for three years. After the completion of the PhD stage, students return to the clinical studies of the medical course for 2.5 years. It is the responsibility of students and of their advisors to make sure that the PhD studies are completed within three years.

The PhD diploma is awarded only after issuing the MD diploma and completion of the PhD requirements.

PhD - studies

The guiding principle of the medical faculty is translational research.

Translational research considers the clinical significance of basic research and directing research topics toward clinical needs arising in hospitals and clinics.

Studies take place at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, located in Safed. Research is carried out at the research laboratories of the Faculty or those of affiliated hospitals in the Galilee: Ziv Medical Center in Safed, the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, and the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya.

The study program toward advanced degrees consists of research work and academic courses. Students determine their research topic in consultation with the advisor.

Students must attend mandatory and elective courses for a total of 8 credits.

Qualified candidates

1.      Outstanding students (GPA of at least 90) with a B.Sc. degree — through the Faculty of Medicine admission process.

2.      Students who, in addition, started or finished the first year of study at the Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee with a GPA of at least 90.

In special cases, students can be admitted with a combined undergraduate and medical studies GPA that is lower than 90, but no less than 85.

Enrollment and admissions

Candidates for this special graduate program should contact Ms. Hadas Hasidim, coordinator of graduate studies, at med.tm@biu.ac.il to check their eligibility before submitting their candidacy to the School for Advanced Studies (PhD) at the University.

Academic requirements

Research

  1. At the end of the first academic year, students submit a proposal for the doctoral thesis according to the guidelines published on the website of the Faculty of Medicine. Students participate in an oral discussion of their research proposal and of the relevant research areas before a three-member monitoring committee, including the advisor, appointed by the faculty committee for graduate degrees. After approval by the monitoring committee, the proposal is submitted for approval of the university committee for research students.
  2. The monitoring committee oversees the students’ progress over all the period of their doctoral studies. Every six months, students must submit a report approved by the advisor. The monitoring committee summons students to present their work (demonstration) in order to determine their rate of progress.
  3. Upon completion of their research, students submit a summary report to the monitoring committee. After approval by the committee, the students can begin writing their doctoral dissertation.

Courses

Students are required to take 8 credits per year.

Courses are spread over three academic years.

The courses include two mandatory courses, to be completed in the first year (at the beginning of the year, after the first semester of research work).

Required courses

Course No. 81-900 – "New horizons in molecular and cellular biology" – one semester, 1 credit.

Course No. 81-901– "Research methods and principles of the use of scientific equipment and technology" – one year, 3 credits.

Students working with laboratory animals are required to take a course, "Using animals in experiments," before starting their work in the laboratory: course No. 81-899.

Students are also required to attend the “faculty colloquium" (lectures on research), course No. 81-898.

Four seminar papers must be submitted, each worth 0.5 credit (for the total of 2 credits out of 8).

Elective courses for doctoral students are selected with the guidance of advisors in the students’ areas of specialization in their research work, from the list of post-graduate courses.

The courses that are part of the MD program are not given credit for the PhD program.

Students must meet all requirements of the above courses, including exams and papers, with a GPA of at least 90.

Students must also complete basic courses and obtain the grade mandated by the regulations, and obtain an exemption from English.

Scholarship

Students will receive a living stipend, exemption from tuition during their PhD studies and a housing grant for living in the Galilee.

Head of Program
Prof. Tzipora Falik-Zaccai