"Upstate's MD/PhD program does a great job bridging the gap between medical bench-side research and clinical application," said Rene Choi, whose research involves developing treatments for retinal diseases. "During our PhD years, we're required every semester to complete a clinical clerkship, where we shadow a physician of our choosing for eight hours a month. I shadowed a retinal surgeon. It was extremely beneficial to understand the disease process from a clinical point of view. I got to watch surgeries in the OR and see how the physician interacts with patients."