Scientific Oversight Committee
At entry into the MD/PhD program, each student will be assigned a Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC) to monitor his or her progress in the program. This SOC will assist the student in understanding and navigating both the MD and the PhD requirements for the program.
The SOC membership will be composed of the following:
- two mentors from the MD/PhD committee, one of whom is a clinician and will serve as MD advisor
- a faculty member from the student's graduate program of interest at time of admissions
Early in the MD/PhD program, the SOC will work with the student to create an integrated roadmap of research and coursework to lead to graduation from both the MD and PhD programs. In consultation with the student, the SOC will determine the learning objectives for the student as well as the program requirements necessary for successful completion, in compliance with both medical school and graduate program requirements. This will include a formal consultation with the Program Director of the graduate program that the student is considering. They will suggest a plan for PhD coursework, including which courses may be exempted or waived.
At entry into the MD/PhD program, the SOC should meet frequently to become acquainted with the student and to help form his or her goals. For the first two years in the program, the student should meet with their SOC every six months to evaluate his or her progress in the curriculum and in research, and assist the student to plan the next term(s). Once the MD/PhD student has passed their PhD qualifying exam, they will immediately form their Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC), although some graduate programs have the student form a pre-DAC/qualifying exam committee as well. The composition of the DAC is described in the By-Laws of Graduate Council (IX.G.7). The DAC will replace the SOC, which will disband. One member of the SOC (who should also be a member of the SOM Graduate Faculty) will be selected by the SOC to join the DAC to ensure continuity of advising. The DAC should also include a faculty advocate from the MD/PhD program. We believe that overlap between these committees will decrease the time to graduation by ensuring that the student is receiving consistent mentoring.