Accomplishing advancements in vision science requires clinician researchers with training that spans many disciplines. The Vision Clinical Scientist Program at the University of Pennsylvania is designed to prepare clinician scientists to identify and prioritize important questions in their field, formulate a comprehensive approach to address the questions, and lead the efforts of a research team to provide answers. The Penn Vision Clinical Scientist Program is centered in the Department of Ophthalmology in the School of Medicine. The program takes advantage of established educational programs within the university, the concentration of strong basic science, translational research, and patient-oriented research programs ongoing within the Department of Ophthalmology, and the breadth of expertise available through Penn's interdisciplinary institutes and centers. Scholars have access to formal educational programs and applied research experiences in a vast an^ay of areas such as clinical epidemiology, single-center and multicenter clinical trials, health services research, bioethics, genetics, molecular biology, and neuroscience. Established investigators in basic science, translational research, and patient-oriented research serve as mentors to guide choices by scholars in educational programs and research projects. Although each program has a didactic training component and a component of supervised research with increasing independence, the specific content of each program is custom built for each scholar. Mentors advise scholars on activities necessary for professional development, collaboration among investigators, and developing long-term research programs. Upon completion of the program, scholars are well-prepared to perform productive and successful independent research.
People with training and experience in preventing and treating eye disease, who are also skilled at doing research, are able to identify important problems in eye care and design the research projects needed to resolve the problems. The Penn Vision Clinical Scientist Program provides the resources necessary for such people to be successful.
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