The third year at the Duke University School of Medicine represents a unique opportunity for the student to broaden her or his background in the biomedical and social sciences; the basis of clinical medicine. The primary goal of the third year is to develop tomorrow's physician leaders through a rigorous scholarly experience in biomedical-related research.
To provide direction for the student's studies, the curriculum offerings have been divided into 18 study programs. These programs, while broad in scope, are designed to provide the student with in-depth exposure to the sciences encompassed within the study programs. There are several research options within each study program. These range from a small research project associated with a structured curriculum of course work and seminars to an unstructured curriculum with the focus on investigation of a research question. It is the responsibility of the student, with the guidance of a study program director and mentor, to identify the curriculum necessary to properly explore a particular research question. Further, students are given the opportunity to study away from Duke or to pursue a master's degree in an approved dual-degree program if certain criteria are met.