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Yes, a PhD in one of the areas given below is required for admission to the Vanderbilt Medical Innovators Development Program (MIDP):

Engineering—Biomedical, Bio-, Electrical, Mechanical, Computer, Industrial and Systems, Nuclear, Chemical and Biological

Applied Sciences—Physics, Biophysics, Medical Physics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Materials Science

If the PhD degree wil not be conferred until after matriculation, a letter from the registrar or Dean stating that all degree requirements have been met (including approval of dissertation) is required before matriculation.

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD concurrently with the MD, please see the Medical Scientist Training Program at Vanderbilt at

Yes, the MCAT is REQUIRED for admission to the Vanderbilt MIDP program. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine participates in the American Medical College Application Service. All application materials may be obtained through AMCAS.


No, the medical education is NOT reduced. All graduates will obtain a complete undergraduate medical education and will be eligible for admission to medical residency programs. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine educational curriculum is called Curriculum 2.0.

While the student will receive a complete undergraduate medical education in either program, the Vanderbilt MIDP program is targeted to those who wish to develop leadership careers as applied physician scientists, particularly in the fields of imaging, informatics and systems design, and/or medical devices. The Vanderbilt MIDP program enhances the standard VUSM curriculum by including coursework and immersion opportunities such as Introduction to Medical Devices and Technology Transfer, Health Care Business Models, Entrepreneurship, and Health Care and Academic-Industrial Immersion.

Financial support for medical school tuition is provided for qualified applicants who are admitted into the Vanderbilt MIDP. 

Yes. Our AMCAS due dates and interviews occur in September and October to allow for admissions decisions to made no later than early November. For any applicant not accepted to the Vanderbilt MIDP, there will be a process to switch their application to MD for consideration, if they choose to do so.

There is no hard definition of research that fits or does not fit the criteria. We generally judge the applicants fit to the program by the answer to the following essay:

Essay unique to this program: “Please let us know why you are interested in the Medical Innovators Development Program and how this program will help you achieve your career goals. Also, please explain how your goals relate to imaging, medical devices, or informatics.” (~500 words)

We also look for experience in innovation such as patents, but these are not required. Thus far, one criterion that we are not varying for the time being is that of PhD requirement at the time of matriculation.

Keep in mind, that the Vanderbilt MIDP admissions process parallels the regular VUSM admissions process. If you are not offered a position in the Vanderbilt MIDP, you can still request your application go into the regular VUSM admissions pipeline for consideration for regular admission. In this way, we hope that any interested student will apply to Vanderbilt MIDP and make a case for their fit to the program without risking standard VUSM admission. In addition, most of the classes being developed for Vanderbilt MIDP will be offered to all VUSM students (space permitting).

By training within a culture of translation, our graduates will have the tools to solve problems in health and health care successfully, and to function at the interface between disciplines. Our graduates will be well positioned to become leaders of medical technology innovation in both academia and industry.

We expect our students to take one of four paths after graduation:

1)  Residency +/- fellowship to industry leadership

2)  Residency +/- fellowship to academic leadership

3)  Industry leadership or startup venture

4)  Government or foundation leadership

Our leadership team and advisory council will include respected leaders from academia and industry who will be invaluable resources for our students.