An organization of Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students was chartered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004.

The organization was designed to:

  • Address issues identified by students concerning program strengths and weaknesses
  • Empower and engage students to participate actively in the planning and execution of the program
  • Facilitate student support of one another

The major elected officers are the co-presidents, who have overlapping two-year terms. The election of the next co-president takes place in the late spring, and various committees are reconstituted yearly at the fall retreat. Leaders of the committees are selected from volunteers. The original plan of an executive committee and six standing committees has stood the test of time as follows:   

Executive committee

The goals of the Executive Committee are to centralize and organize the efforts of individual students and act as representatives of all MSTP students during interactions with the administrations of the Medical Scientist Training Program, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and UW-Madison Graduate School. The committee is composed of two elected co-presidents and chairs of the standing committees.

The Executive Committee plans the fall retreat in consultation with the director and meets quarterly or at the discretion of the Co-presidents. Meetings are announced and open to all students, MSTP directors and staff. Meetings covering important issues are scheduled for the fall retreat or during the weekly seminar to ensure full student participation.

Advising and mentoring committee

The goal of this committee is to improve the emotional and professional support for students, especially during the critical transitions in the program. This goal is accomplished by advisory relationships with the Director, peer-to-peer mentorship, advocacy, and networking. The advising chair also works with the program coordinator to update the Medical Scientist Training Program handbook each year.

Communications committee

This committee facilitates communication about program issues, events, and needs among students. It also improves accessibility to MSTP student resources. Forums for communication include an e-newsletter, the program webpage, student guides to the MSTP and graduate programs, and social media.

Curriculum committee

The goal of this committee is to actively engage current students in generating ideas for initiating and maintaining curricular changes that enable Medical Scientist Training Program students to complete their degrees in a more efficient manner. It will identify, prioritize, and address areas of concern identified by students, program administration, and outside review, and serve as a central place for students to bring curricular concerns to the attention of the entire program.

Diversity and Outreach committee

This committee advocates for and ensures that issues of diversity (ethnic, racial, lifestyle, gender, etc.) are integrated into the Medical Scientist Training Program. This goal is accomplished by incorporating diversity into MSTP events, participation in on- and off-campus outreach activities, sponsorship of seminars and other initiatives. Committee members help the program Diversity Committee in identification and recruitment of disadvantaged students.

Merchandise committee

The goal of the merchandise committee is to maintain the discretionary spending fund used to fund recruiting and social activities within the program. They are responsible for designing, ordering, purchasing, and distributing MSTP merchandise such as MSTP-branded clothing, dishware, and other items, the proceeds from which will go into the MSTP discretionary fund. The merchandise chair is also responsible for collecting donations from members of the MSTP.

Seminars committee

The goal of this committee is to plan, implement, and facilitate Medical Scientist Training Program events involving presentations by MSTP students and faculty. This includes the weekly Wednesday seminar series and the Spring Symposium.

Social committee

The goal of this committee is to improve the sense of community among students in the program. This goal is accomplished by:

  • A fall welcoming event for incoming students prior to beginning medical school classes
  • Planning of social activities at the fall retreat
  • Organization of social events during the year, including recruiting weekends, quarterly program lunches and ad hoc social events such as Friday afternoons at Memorial Union Terrace, a cherished UW-Madison locale on the shores of Lake Mendota