University of Nebraska Medical Center

After Admission

Second Visit

Once applicants are offered an acceptance, they are invited for a second visit, with travel and lodging expenses paid by the program. While not required, this second visit is strongly recommended. This visit has two main functions:

  1. Provide the opportunity for a second look at UNMC’s campus, program, faculty, and facilities
  2. Meet with faculty members for potential summer research rotations
Students can accept their admission both before or after this second visit; the visit is beneficial in both cases. Many accepted students in the past have also brought a significant other, friend, or family member to their revisit. While travel expenses for travel companions will not be covered by the program, we are more than happy to work with students to arrange shared travel and housing.

Before arriving on campus, the student will be asked to select faculty members who have research interests that match the student’s; this selection process is meant to give the student additional time with research faculty to help them decide on a summer laboratory rotation. Exploring UNMC’s doctoral programs is the best place to start. In addition to contacting program leadership, current Scholars are also excellent resources for additional help. Once the student has determined faculty members they would like to speak to, they should email those names to Jen Brady, who will arrange meetings with them during the second visit.

Summer Research Rotations

While medical school starts in August, MD-PhD Scholars are asked to arrive on campus in May to begin summer graduate laboratory rotations. Arrival dates are flexible depending on circumstance. With the current curriculum, the summers have been shortened from a traditional curriculum, making an early arrival date critical to rotating through potential graduate laboratories.

During the first summer and before the first year of medical school (M1 year), each student completes two six-week research summer rotations that are designed to develop laboratory skills, establish research interests, and evaluate research mentors. While arrival dates can be flexible, it is ideal to come to campus in May in order to have sufficient time to establish research interests and evaluate mentors for choosing a graduate school laboratory.

At the end of the first summer, there will be an orientation to introduce students to the plethora of UNMC labs seeking students. This orientation is to help the student become aware of other labs they may not have considered and provide an opportunity to think about other labs for their next summer research rotations.

Students complete two more five-week research rotations the summer before their second year of medical school with the same purposes in mind. Often, throughout first year, students interact with professors whose research they become interested in and build a relationship. They then take the opportunity to rotate through their labs in the summer before their second year of medical school. After these rotations, with experience in three or four labs, the student should have a good idea of which advisor they would like to be mentored under during their graduate school years (G1-G4 years). However, the program is flexible and willing to work with students to find their ideal mentor if they still do not feel a good fit in any lab after these summer rotations.

First Year of Medical School

Medical school begins in August. There is a week-long orientation, filled with information about school as well as social opportunities to bond with the class. Orientation week provides ample opportunity to explore the UNMC campus, meet faculty members, and interact with fellow classmates in a stress-free environment. At the end of orientation, the student will be honored with a white coat at the White Coat Ceremony to welcome students to the medical professional community.

While in medical school, the MD-PhD Scholars are medical students and follow the medical school curriculum, with the added requirement of attending MD-PhD Scholars luncheons every first and third Thursday each month.

Always feel free to contact Jen Brady and the MD-PhD Scholars Program directors with any questions or concerns. Older students are more than willing to help out in any way they can. Additionally, there will be plenty of events to meet MD-PhD Scholars over the summer, such as our year-round MD-PhD Scholars luncheons, a welcome picnic in June, and our annual MD-PhD Scholars Program two-day retreat in August. These are perfect opportunities to ask questions before classes start in the Fall.