Scholarly Concentrations

The Scholarly Concentration (SC) program is a required, structured program of study in the Medical Student Curriculum that promotes in-depth learning and scholarship. The SC's provide medical students with faculty-mentored scholarly experiences in areas of individual interest combined with structured coursework (12 units) to support this scholarship. This component of the MD curriculum develops critical thinking, skills in evaluation of new data, and hands-on experience with the methods by which new scholarly information is generated.

The Scholarly Concentration program has 16 areas of study, including 8 foundation areas, and 8 application areas.  All students must select one of the 8 foundation areas, which are designed to develop skills and tools that can be applied to important problems in health care.

Scholarly Concentration Requirement

This information represents section 4.4 of the MD Program Handbook and Policy Manual and is related to the required curriculum for current Stanford students. Please refer to Section 4 of the MD Program Handbook and Policy Manual for additional information.

Each student must declare a Scholarly Concentration along with a course plan and general project description. It is recommended that four-year students declare by June 1 of the first year. All students must declare by September 1 of the second year.

Students explore SC opportunities during the first year and decide on a course and general scholarship plan. The SC research project should be the equivalent of one full time quarter of effort. An online declaration form is completed by the student, reviewed by the mentor, and finally signed-off by the Director(s) of the appropriate SC areas. Within their SC, students participate in activities and events planned by the SC Directors.  

Completions will be checked July before the student's intended graduation in order for SC Directors to prepare comments for students' MSPE letters. The Scholarly Concentration completion must show the following information:

  • Research project - equivalent of one full time quarter of effort
    • Written project report
    • Presentation of research
  • List of Scholarly Concentration courses (12 units)

All students must meet the requirements of the SC program no later than six months prior to graduation (finish courses and present scholarly work results).

Student Support

Each SC is interdepartmental and stretches across campus to incorporate different faculty and courses. The program is supported administratively by the Office of Medical Student Research and Scholarship (OMSRS) in the Office of Medical Education (OME). Students receive direct guidance regarding their scholarly projects from their Faculty Project Advisors, and assistance with regards to how the SC fits with their overall academic progress and career goals.

The overall program is supported primarily by OMSRS and the Scholarly Concentration Directors. These two groups have frequent contact with medical students and with each other.

A second and equally important level of student support includes two major direct advisors:

  1. The student's Project or Research Mentor

  2. The student's Advising Dean, who provides overall academic/career guidance