Medical Program Denied New Funds

The Medical School's failure to get a supplemental grant from the federal government to fund additional positions in the school's joint M.D.-Ph.D. program has prompted some students to charge that they were misled about their chances to receiving funding when they applied to the Med School last year.

The Med School applied last year to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for 28 new awards in addition to the 32 funded by a previous 5-year grant, but received only two for this year and three more for each year until 1984, Lawrence F. Cavendish, administrative director of the M.D.-Ph.D. program said recently.

The denial of funding makes it likely that some first-year students who applied to the program this year will not be able to participate, Cavendish said.

In 1979 the school received a five-year grant from NIH providing funds for 32 positions in the program. This grant must be renewed yearly.

Some of these spots will become available as students graduate. Students said 24 new positions are being sought for next year.


Nancy C. Andrews, a first-year student, said this week that Cavendish had virtually assured her when she applied to the Med School that she would receive NIH funding for the M.D.-Ph.D. program beginning in her second year of Med School.

"They didn't make any definite guarantees, but the situation was misrepresented," Andrews said.

Dr. S. James Adelstein, dean for academic programs at the Med School and director of the M.D.-Ph.D. program, said this week the program's literature had always warned applicants about the competition for NIH funding.

Cavendish said he did not guarantee funding to any students but did tell Med School applicants interested in the program that he expected about ten new positions for this year to be funded by the supplemental grant.

The number of positions that will be funded each year is difficult to estimate because all NIH funding is awarded by "fluctuating congressional dictates," Cavendish added.

Truth or Dare

Stuart A. Forman, a first-year student applying to the program for next year said yesterday he was led to believe he would get funded when Cavendish told him that all who applied had been admitted to the program in previous years and had received funding.

The program had provided one-time interim funding for nine students not funded by NIH grants last year, but these students are moving to NIH funding as new positions open up, Cavendish said, adding that they would use up grant money that might have gone to next year's students.

Extra Year

Cavendish added that some students scheduled to graduate this year elected to spend another year in the program, remaining in places he had expected to open up.

A new policy and procedures paper will be included in next year's applications giving more specific details on the funding process, Cavendish said.