The six Schools of the Health Sciences (SHS) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) (Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine, and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences) propose to launch a five year, program to develop future investigators and leaders in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). This program will be called the PCOR Scholars Program with the following overarching aims: 1) To develop a PCOR Scholars Program that addresses health care issues broadly, 2) To train outstanding candidates in methods, theories, and concepts in comparative effectiveness research methods (CER) and PCOR. 3) To immerse Scholars in multidisciplinary PCOR, working closely with stakeholder groups from conceptualization of research to dissemination and implementation of results. 4) To provide outstanding mentoring which allows for rapid startup of research projects, leads to high productivity, and the successful transition of Scholars to independence. 5) To rigorously monitor and guide the career development of each Scholar through well-defined policies and processes to ensure a high degree of success in becoming future leaders in CER and PCOR. Through ongoing detailed evaluation of the Scholars and the entire program by an active PCOR K12 Advisory Board, we will assure that Scholars are continuously making excellent progress toward all their goals and that the Program promotes the success of the Scholars in every aspect of career development. Using the well-established Institute for Clinical Research Education as the institutional home for the PCOR Scholar's program and the Comparative Effective Resource Center's infrastructure, the Scholars will learn research methodology through existing CER Track of ICRE's degree granting programs. Program Directors, Wishwa Kapoor, MD, MPH and Sally Morton, PhD, will design program coursework and training to fit each Scholar's specific needs. This training will be complemented by seminars and training in career development and professionalism (e.g., making scientific presentations, increasing writing productivity, negotiating, requirements for promotion and tenure, leadership, balancing life and work) as well as research. Each Scholar will design a research project that uses CER to conduct PCOR. Stakeholder involvement will be an essential element of each project, and instructions on how to involve stakeholders and maintain relationships over time will be included in the Scholar's formal coursework.
In this time of rapid discovery, it is essential that we have the information we need to make sound decisions about health care. CER and PCOR are tools that will produce answers to health care questions that will enable people to best make decisions for themselves taking into account harms and benefits of interventions.