MD-PhD Program in Medicine and Medical Sciences

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 years of clinical work

The research work will begin during the summer vacation at the end of the second year of medical studies. During this period, the students will do 2-3 rotations to get to know the research laboratories and then actually start the Ph.D studies for 3 years. At the end of the Ph.D phase, the students will return to the clinical studies of medical studies for two more years. It is the responsibility of the student and supervisor to complete the Ph.D studies within three years.

The PhD diploma is awarded only after 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 6 credits.

In addition, the students in this track will participate in periodic meetings with the heads of the program.

Qualified candidates

1.      Outstanding students (GPA of at least 88) with a B.Sc. degree — through the Faculty of Medicine admission process.

2.      Outstanding students (GPA of at least 85) with an M.Sc. degree — through the Faculty of Medicine admission process.

3.      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 88.

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.

Students who meet the initial admission requirements will be invited to an interview with the heads of the program and will then be able to apply to the graduate school (doctorate) at the University.

The documents that must be submitted to graduate studies coordinator at the time of the initial application are:

* CV and list of publications (if any)

*A letter of application from the candidate detailing the reasons for applying to this track, as well as his or her plans and expectations from the track.

*Official school transcript, which includes the details of the candidate's B.Sc. grades, an official B.Sc. diploma from a recognized university institution, as well as an official transcript from the end of the first year of medical studies (if any).

*If a research supervisor is found, a letter from the supervisor (faculty member qualified according to the regulations), expressing his willingness to guide the candidate and describing in general terms the topic and field of research in which the student will engage.

*3 letters of recommendation

After an admissions interview and written approval by the M.D./Ph.D. committee, the student's candidacy will be submitted for approval by the Faculty's graduate committee and the university committee for research students. After this combined approval, the student is admitted to the excellence program, as a conditional student.

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 nine months, students must submit a report approved by the advisor. The monitoring committee summons students to present their work (by presentation) in order to determine their rate of progress.
  3. Upon completion of the research work, the student will present his or her work as part of the doctoral seminar, before the members of the faculty and the accompanying committee. After the approval of the committee, the student will be able to start writing the doctoral thesis

Courses

Students are required to take 6 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.

Two seminar courses, each worth 0.5 credit.

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 88.

Students must also complete basic courses (explanation regarding exemption from Judaic studies requirement for non-Jews, can be found in Hebrew, here) and obtain the grade mandated by the regulations, and obtain an exemption from English.

Heads of Program
Prof. Chaim Putterman, Dr. Shai Bel