The Medical Scientist Training Program at Stony Brook is unique largely because of its associations with Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Each offer students research opportunities and environments found nowhere else. In addition, the Stony Brook tradition of interdepartmental and interinstitutional graduate training assures that students from different PhD Programs work along-side each other in a single laboratory and within a given department. Hence, during doctoral study, MSTP students are indistinguishable as a group from other graduate students. In general, this style of training promotes cooperation and collaboration rather than competition.
Philosophically, it is my belief that the students we admit to our program contribute as much if not more than the faculty, to the essence of dual degree training at Stony Brook. Accordingly, flexibility is of paramount importance and all members of the MSTP Steering Committee including myself are always willing to discuss training and/or career options with individual students and at great length. We do not believe that there is a single optimal program of study leading to the combined MD-PhD, nor is there an ideal career path to be followed once a student graduates. Rather, there may be as many programs and paths as there are students and it is our objective to optimize these experiences for each student individually. To this point, we have been largely successful.
The Stony Brook MSTP is also unusual in its location outside a major urban area (although only 50 minutes from Manhattan). As a result, students are exposed to medical problems qualitatively different from those available in a city, particularly during the clinical phase of training. This along with their scientific experience, allows Stony Brook MSTP students to tackle human disease from a truly unusual perspective. The novelty of this perspective is invaluable.
Thanks very much for your interest in our Program.
With best regards,
Michael A. Frohman, M.D., Ph.D.