There has been a significant decline in the number of research psychiatrists and research fellowships for psychiatrists in the past two decades (Fenton et al. 2004, Pincus et al. 2005). In order to begin to address this gap, it is critically important to provide early research training in psychiatry residency. Such training (a) promotes research literacy for all trainees, (b) encourages future participation of clinicians as research collaborators, (c) provides experience that can foster choosing a research career, (d) expands clinical knowledge through the formulation of patient-oriented research questions, (e) attracts medical students into psychiatry training, and (f) maintains and facilitates research interest among residents with investigative backgrounds (IOM 2003). In response to the critical shortage of physician-scientists and the IOM's recommendation, investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry and McLean Hospital collaborated with the leadership of the MGH-McLean General Adult Psychiatry residency to develop and pilot a Research Concentration (RC) within the residency training program. The goal of the RC is to prepare residents for careers as investigators in academic psychiatry by facilitating greater exposure to research activities and training during residency. The pilot RC has had success in attracting and recruiting talented psychiatrist-scientists and developing an initial research education program. In this application, we propose developing a well-coordinated research education program with appropriate infrastructure that will attract clinician-scientists to careers in psychiatry and provide them both mentorship and research experience to prepare them for an independent investigator career in psychiatry and neuroscience following residency.
The specific aims of the proposed research education training program are to: (1) attract and train excellent residents to become future psychiatrist-investigators in basic, translational, and patient-oriented research, by integrating core research and clinical didactic programming, as well as clinical and research rotations, during the four years of residency training program;(2) provide dedicated time and training for research over the course of the four-year residency through the RC track in the adult psychiatry residency training program;(3) increase the number of residents who benefit from the research education program;(4) broaden and deepen the research education program by providing greater and more intensive training in research literacy to all residents in the residency training program;(5) provide seed funding for pilot research projects designed by the residents enrolled in the RC program;and (6) partner with training and training evaluation programs within MGH and McLean Hospitals as well as the Harvard Catalyst, the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), so that all residents will benefit from the CTSC educational resources.
In 2007, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and McLean Hospital piloted an integrated Research Concentration within the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program to address the critical shortage of physician-scientists engaged in mental health research careers. This proposal will provide support and infrastructure to establish a well-integrated research education program that aims to attract and train residents to become future psychiatrist-scientists in basic, translational, and patient-oriented research, while increasing research literacy among all psychiatry residents.
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