Physician Leadership Development Program

M.D./M.P.H. Degree Program

White coat ceremonyOur country needs more highly educated and motivated physician-leaders to address challenges in a variety of settings, from developing public health policies and managing massive hospital networks, to addressing global health concerns and shaping academic medicine. Tomorrow's leaders are likely to need more than one advanced degree to make a major impact in such an environment. The Physician Leadership Development Program provides a dual-degree program for those students who want to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Would you like to become a physician with strong leadership and management skills? If you are interested in population-based health care, global health systems, emergency preparedness, or health education and promotion, and possess good leadership, academic and analytic skills, you are an ideal candidate for Wright State University's M.D./M.P.H. program.


The Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP) offers medical students management and leadership skills, as well as knowledge of health economics and population-based medicine. It is designed to develop future leaders of the health care system, including CEOs of health care organizations, such as hospital systems, government agencies, non-profit organizations and for-profit health care companies.

While taking M.P.H. courses, M.D./M.P.H. students participate in a clinical longitudinal experience during their graduate term that integrates their graduate and medical education. Additionally, they attend seminars and special programming with M.D./M.B.A. students themed around leadership.

The program is completed in five years, culminating with a dual degree — the M.D. and a Master of Public Health with one of four Concentrations: Emergency Preparedness, Global Health, Health Education and Promotion or Public Health Management.


Graduates from the Physician Leadership Development Program have pursued careers in dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry and surgery. Our students have gone on to residencies at the following institutions:

  • Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, N.Y. (Internal Medicine, Psychiatry)
  • Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Mass. (Internal Medicine)
  • Clinton Memorial Hospital, Wilmington, Ohio (Family Medicine)
  • David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. (Transitional Year)
  • East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn. (General Surgery)
  • Kettering Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio/Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)
  • New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y. (Family Medicine)
  • Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio (Psychiatry)
  • Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Penn. (Dermatology)
  • Tulane University, New Orleans, La. (Obstetrics/Gynecology)
  • University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio (General Surgery)
  • University of California-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, Calif.(Family Medicine)
  • University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Ill. (Pediatrics)
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Ill. (Internal Medicine)
  • University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Internal Medicine)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, Va. (Internal Medicine)
  • WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio (Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Psychiatry)

Admissions Criteria

Students will be selected on the basis of superior academic performance, evidence of analytical skills, leadership potential and interest or experience in health systems, the organization of health care and the business of health care. Undergraduate GPA, academic load, community service, extracurricular activities will also be considered.

Potential PLDP students must first be accepted into the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Medical students interested in pursuing a M.D./M.P.H. must apply to the PLDP in their first year of medical school by completing a Supplemental Application and required essays. The Supplemental Application form (PDF) can be printed and mailed. (To view the PDF file, you will need Acrobat Reader, a free download.) In addition to the Supplemental Application and essays, students must submit 2 letters of recommendation that support their ability to participate in a dual-degree program.

Dual-degree candidates must also apply for acceptance into the WSU Graduate School, M.P.H. Program. Graduate school application information is available through the WSU Graduate School. M.P.H. admission requirements are described on the M.P.H. Program web site. These requirements include the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)* and submission of the M.P.H. Supplemental Application.

The admissions process for the Physician Leadership Development Program is coordinated through the Center for Global Health. Admission to the PLDP is contingent on the applicant's acceptance into Boonshoft School of Medicine and the M.P.H. Program in the Graduate School. The PLDP Admissions Panel reviews applications in early November, so applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a complete Supplemental Application, including essays and letters of recommendation, by October 1.

If you have questions, would like to schedule a time to visit and speak with the program leadership, or would like to talk with a current PLDP student, contact the PLDP Program Coordinator.

M.D./M.P.H. Application Checklist:

  1. Complete and submit the PLDP Supplemental Application (PDF), essays and letters of recommendation during M1.
  2. Apply to the Master of Public Health Program in the WSU Graduate School.
  3. Complete and submit the M.P.H. Supplemental Application form to help the program track your application to the Graduate School. You may submit the online application or download and complete the application as a PDF file.

*Note: An applicant's MCAT scores can be used in place of the GRE score requirement. Please contact the PLDP Coordinator once the Master of Public Health Program application is submitted to request that the MCAT scores are sent from the Boonshoft School of Medicine to the WSU Graduate School.

Graduate Assistantship

M.D./M.P.H. students have the opportunity to apply for a Physician Leadership Development Program graduate assistantship position. By serving in this position, the graduate assistant supports the Physician Leadership Development Program in many capacities, including recruitment, promotion/marketing/communication, organizational and social event planning, alumni relations and administrative support. Students may apply for the position prior to the start of their graduate year by contacting Sabrina Neeley, Ph.D., M.P.H., or Carla Lachecki in the PLDP office at the address at the bottom of this page. The position requires a commitment of 20 hours per week. Please inquire further for financial reimbursement information. General information about graduate assistantships at Wright State is available here.

PLDP Executive Council

The Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP) is a unique composition of five years of dual-degree students committed to leadership in health care. The PLDP Executive Council was initiated by students to integrate their skills and interests as well as to collaborate to promote their professional, academic and leadership development.


Crites G, Ebert J, Schuster R. Beyond the Dual Degree: Development of a Five-Year Program in Leadership for Medical Undergraduates (PDF). Academic Medicine. 2008;83,1:52-58.

Schuster R, Ebert J, Crites G. Considering a Formal Program for Medical Student Leadership Development (PDF). Academic Internal Medicine Insight. 2006;4,2:10-11.

Last edited on 04/29/2015.