The primary aim of this proposal is to support the development of junior faculty pursuing career pathways in patient centered outcomes research (PCOR). Eligible candidates for this PCOR Scholars Program will be identified from several key sources including 1) existing clinical fellowship training programs at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2) postdoctoral clinical research training programs including the Masters of Science in Health Policy Research, Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program and numerous NIH and AHRQ funded post graduate (T32) training programs and 3) departments across the University with junior and senior faculty interested in pursuing PCOR. In addition, national search strategies will help assure the recruitment of outstanding candidates to the Penn campus. Candidates supported through this program will complete mentored research projects focusing on the generation, translation, and dissemination of evidence in the areas of patient centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness research, with a specific focus on evaluating health care delivery system designs and policies. Two training pathways are proposed. For those junior investigators without prior formal training in clinical research methods, the program will support the completion of a two year Masters level degree program in Clinical Epidemiology (Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology) or Health Policy Research (Masters of Science in Health Policy Research). For those PCOR Scholars having completed such formal training, the majority of the supported time will be devoted towards mentored clinical research projects, with opportunities for additional didactic activities as needed. All PCOR Scholars will be assigned a primary mentor and will benefit from the input of secondary mentors as needed and an advisory committee composed of leaders in the field. The pool of mentors represents a group of nationally recognized scientists leading clinically and methodologically diverse research programs, with special emphasis in the areas of health services and health policy research. The University of Pennsylvania has substantial resources to support these scholars, including programs in several national research networks as well as strong multidisciplinary ties across the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Wharton School of Business, and Annenberg School of Communication. Skills in research implementation and dissemination are also emphasized. An evaluation plan is in place to track the success of the PCOR Scholars during their time in the program and beyond.
There is a growing recognition that health care outcomes are as much a reflection of the systems that deliver medical care as the drugs and devices that are delivered and the individuals who prescribe them. The proposed Patient Centered Outcomes Research (K12) Scholars program will recruit and train clinical scientists at an early career stage and link them with a mentors and multidisciplinary curriculum designed to produce leaders in the study of comparative health delivery systems and policies and their impact on patient outcomes.
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