Background: Training in the form of MD-PhD programs is an important part of the academic mission of medical schools, yet the costs incurred in providing these programs may be consider-able. This research explores the financial impacts on a university of supporting an MD-PhD program. Summary: We estimate the net financial impact of an MD-PhD program under a variety of assumptions about the financial gain that the school obtains through MD-PhD students' contributions to externally funded research. Under certain assumptions, the net financial impact of the MD-PhD program is positive, and under the most unfavorable assumptions the cost per student year is less than $30,000. Conclusions: The apparent costs of an MD-PhD program are ameliorated or even turned into gains when one considers the resources generated by MD-PhD students. Thus, such programs can serve as a means of increasing external awards and improving the overall quality in graduate schools.
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