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Year 3

A one-year preclinical series means more time in later years to explore and innovate in the specialties you love. That’s what the M3 and M4 years are all about.

The MD Foundations: Immersion Phase

Your M3 and M4 years form a highly individualized period that builds upon the foundational knowledge you acquired in clerkships. Through advanced clinical experiences, an acting internship, a 3- to 6-month research project, and various elective courses, you’ll pursue your individual medical interests and narrow down your specialty choices.

Read more about our uniquely individualized M3 and M4 curriculum on our MD Curriculum website.

Meanwhile, in MIDP: IDEA Lab

In the Innovation Design Experience and Application (IDEA) Lab, your MIDP cohort will select one of the health care systems problems you identified during Innovation Activism in your M2 year.

Through this 12-week course, Vanderbilt faculty and industry advisers will mentor you as you:

  • Select a problem from the list of health care systems problems you identified during your M2 clerkships
  • Identify and interview stakeholders (clinicians, patients, administrators) in the customer discovery process
  • Brainstorm and select one solution to develop further
  • Build and test a small-scale prototype for implementation in VUMC
  • Pitch the prototype to VUMC hospital leadership or other relevant parties

You’ll meet twice a week with your faculty mentors, who’ll connect you with hospital leaders and entrepreneurs around Nashville.

Meanwhile, in MIDP: Business and Entrepreneurship

In this self-directed, longitudinal course, your team gets the chance to take your IDEA Lab initiative to the next step— whether that’s stage-gating a testing model, pitching to hospital leadership at VUMC, or taking the model straight to investors.

During this course, you’ll gain hands-on experience with:

  • The FDA approval process for medical devices
  • Putting entrepreneurship and business concepts into practice
  • Issues related to intellectual property, health policy, and global health

The B&E course sets aside 2 to 4 hours per week for your team over the course of the whole year, and your cohort will make the ultimate decisions about how best to use this time and what directions to pursue.

Meet a third-year MIDP student

Noah Orfield, PhDThis is Noah, a medical innovator with a PhD in chemistry from Vanderbilt University. As a graduate student, he spent many hours working alone on his dedicated dissertation research. Coming to MIDP, he found a new love and appreciation for team-based activities to solve case-based learning problems and build friendships in the medical community.

Through Right Brain Activities, the MD Advising Colleges, and spontaneous get-togethers with colleagues and friends, Noah found a community to support him, especially as he navigates the more self-directed portion of MIDP. As he said, “We’re not just here to experience the program; we’re a part of the culture of the program.”