Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Medical Scientist Training Program

Student Council

The MSTP Student Council is a group of current students from all phases of the program that meets monthly to develop and implement student programming. The Student Council is independent of the MSTP Office, but assists the office on many program-wide events including retreat planning, admissions events, and grand rounds. In addition, the student council is a mechanism to organize student concerns and bring them to the MSTP leadership. All students are welcome to attend and lunch is served at each meeting.

Mentoring Events

Blitz Talks

This series of two events is aimed at helping early phase students find a thesis adviser. Over the course of a few hours, students are exposed to the research of upwards of 40 faculty members at Northwestern. These events are meant to serve as a brief introduction and to foster future communication with advisers.

Big Sibs Program

The MSTP Big Sibs program pairs each incoming 1st year medical student with an older graduate-phase student. The goal is to provide mentorship focused on choosing an adviser, taking step 1, and transitioning to graduate school. The MSTP office offers donuts and coffee to facilitate meetings between sibs.

Coffee Talk 

This monthly informal get-together permits students to meet with the Directors to discuss topics of interest, suggested by a student. Past topics include:

  • How to balance coursework and research during the first two years
  • How to start a family during MSTP training
  • Whether it is possible to be a serious scientist and also a surgeon
  • General information and Open Forum Session
  • Preparation for Medical School and Graduate School Phase Transitions

PSTP Interaction

Student Council makes targeted efforts to reach out to the Physician-Scientist Training Programs (PSTP) at Northwestern. We aim to provide MSTP students with opportunities to learn more about the PSTP program and identify potential mentors.

MSTP Student-Faculty Retreat 

This two-day overnight retreat involves a combination of scientific and social activities that usually is held at a resort outside of Chicago. While the format varies slightly from year to year, a constant feature is that all students in the research and clinical phases of training present their work in either oral or poster presentations. The students also invite two physician-scientists as speakers – a recently appointed faculty member and a Northwestern MSTP alumnus. Each gives a brief research talk and discusses his/her career path. Recreational activities round out the weekend.

Speaker Series

Women's Forum on Physician-Scientists

This biannual series of conversation between invited speakers and current students which address the unique experiences of women in science and medicine. We strive to offer guidance for all trainees as we move forward in our training careers.

Diverse Perspectives of Physician Scientists (DPPS)

The biannual lecture series highlights the diversity of physician-scientists and exposes current trainees to physician-scientists who either identify as an underrepresented minority in medicine and/or research populations where health disparities exist.

Social Events

Inter-MSTP Events

Student Council works in conjunction with the other MD/PhD programs in Chicago to plan events that allow for interaction and communication between students. Each year there is an academic presentation hosted at one of the schools and a social event where all are invited.

Admissions Social Events

Meeting and interacting with current students is an integral part to the MSTP admissions process. Student Council works with the office to recruit and organize current students to participate in the interview/second look social events and serve on student panels.