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Year 2

If the M1 year is all about adapting to the med school environment, your M2 year takes you straight to the heart of medical innovation. On the MD side, you’re immersed full-time in clerkships, spending 6-8 weeks on the essential medical rotations. On the MIDP side, you’re applying an engineering mindset to evaluate and improve your clinic experiences.

The MD Foundation: Clerkships

Vanderbilt’s unique one-year preclinical curriculum gets you into clinic one afternoon a week during your M1 year, but M2 is a whole new ballgame. Together with the rest of your med school class, you’ll be immersed full-time in the six core clerkships: surgery, medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, neurology, and psychiatry.

Meanwhile, in MIDP: Innovation Activism

In this year-long course, you’ll take a closer look at clinical problems you’ve encountered in each clerkship. Guided by engineering and clinical faculty, your MIDP cohort will work as a team to:

  • Identify 8 to 12 health care systems-level problems, a few from each of the core clerkships
  • Use an engineering mindset to categorize each problem by significance and feasibility
  • Identify and interview key stakeholders engaged in each issue
  • Translate the qualitative problem you saw during clerkship into a quantitative model that can be addressed with a design-thinking mindset.
  • Meet once every 6 to 8 weeks to present these issues and discuss your analysis

At the conclusion of your M2 year, you’ll have created several clinical problem statements for future development in the M3 and M4 years.

Meet a second-year MIDP student

A man in a suit and tie smiles in front of a brick backgroundNate Kelm, PhD, earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University and previously worked as a Clinical R&D specialist at Insightec before coming to VUSM. A husband and father, Nate brought real-world experience and a background in neurosurgery treatment through MR-guided ultrasound devices to MIDP.

Nate hopes to improve health care by developing approaches and devices for targeted delivery of cancer therapy that would minimize side effects and improve treatment outcomes.

“Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide and impacts people in all stages of life,” he said. “While cancer therapeutics have made significant advances in recent years, many still come with devastating systemic side effects.”

In his second year, Nate turns to the support of faculty and peers to work toward reaching his innovation goals.

“MIDP brings together an outstanding community of students and faculty with diverse capabilities and experiences to work toward a common goal of health care innovation. Each member of MIDP truly cares for each other and goes out of their way to help each other succeed. Throughout my first year of medical school, older MIDP students were constantly checking in with me to provide tips and encouragement. From intellectual stimulation to friendship to career advice, I have found tremendous support through MIDP that I know will continue to grow in the years to come.”