DGSOM Discovery is a required component of the M.D. curriculum to provide third-year medical students with a nearly year-long period of protected time for a deep and substantive creative and scholarly experience in an area of their interest. The program encourages the acquisition of attitudes and skills for self-directed, lifelong learning and scholarship. DGSOM Discovery can include enrollment in a concurrent master’s degree program offered at UCLA or participation in the DGSOM Discovery Area of Concentration (AoC) Program.
DGSOM Discovery Area of Concentration Program is a faculty mentored, scholarly experience. There are eight DGSOM Discovery AoCs, developed by the DGSOM Discovery curriculum redesign planning committee which included 31 faculty, staff, and student members. Areas of concentration include a broad range of disciplines to align with student interests and better prepare students to impact the future of healthcare. Opportunities unique to Los Angeles and specific strengths of UCLA were also taken in consideration during planning.
Basic, Clinical, & Translational Research: Students work with faculty to design and implement a project from multiple areas to frame clinically relevant questions, develop strategies for answering the questions, analyze their findings, and present their results.
Global Health: Gives students an understanding of the spectrum of challenges— from political, to sociological, to biomedical—that limit provision of health care to the world’s poorest people. Provides students with the skill-set to function effectively in any global healthcare setting, often within resource-limited environments.
Social Science & Medical Humanities: Using cross-disciplinary methods such as those from philosophy, social science, film, literature, art, and law, students examine the meaning and implications of medicine and medical research. Explores the moral, social, and humanistic dimensions of medicine and biomedical science.
Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Learn entrepreneurship approaches and how to move a health innovation idea from concept to reality. Design meaningful solutions to the current pressing needs in health care.
Health Justice & Advocacy: Empowers student physicians to be advocates for justice through instruction in human rights and social determinants of health, opportunities for mentorship, and applied advocacy and research experiences. Bioinformatics & Data Science: Provides insights into big data, information management, computational methods of structuring and analyzing biomedical data, and the opportunity to conduct large-scale data analysis along the entire biomedical research pipeline.
Medical Education & Leadership: Prepares students for engagement and leadership in the field of medical education through training in curricular design and delivery, evaluation and assessment, teaching and education, and implementation of novel tools and techniques.
Health Delivery Improvement Science: Combines didactic, seminar, clinical, and research components with the goal of providing students with skills to function more effectively in any healthcare setting. This quality improvement work involves not only individual patients, but also health systems and institutions.
David Geffen School of Medicine students who are in good academic standing and have successfully completed Year 2 (Required Clinical Clerkships) can pursue the dual degree in the Discovery year. For admission, applicants are required to satisfy the regular admission requirements for the respective Masters Program and be in good academic standing within the School of Medicine at the time of application to the dual degree program.
Dual Degree Offerings include:
Additional programs in development: MD/MA (Education), MD/MSW (Masters in Social Work), MD/MLS (Masters in Legal Studies)
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Longitudinal clinical experiences at both a primary care site and a specialty site complements the core clerkship period to support the continued development and entrustability of our students to become outstanding clinicians while further exploring specialty choices.