The University of Washington (UW) program trains physician-scientists and post-doctoral PhD scientists to perform clinically-relevant research in pulmonary and critical care medicine. An interdisciplinary approach is used to prepare trainees for academic careers characterized by independently funded research and a commitment to training others. The program is distinguished by the quality and expertise of the training faculty, the integration of multiple disciplines and diverse research methodologies, and achievements in developing successful scientists. Research training is conducted through two primary pathways: Basic Science and Clinical Outcomes. Within each pathway, experienced and committed mentors provide a rich range of research opportunities, a research study group exposes the trainee to a broader range of methodology and research topics, and didactic course work enriches the research training experience. The Basic Science pathway provides trainees with the opportunity to master a wide- variety of cutting edge research methodologies and techniques. The Clinical Outcomes pathway generally includes completion of an MPH or MSc program in either the Department of Epidemiology or Health Services. Training in translational research occurs at the confluence of the two pathways, with select trainees beginning in one of the primary training pathways and receiving cross-training in the other. Translational training is further supported through tailored mentoring committees and research projects. The program has developed and articulated core principles of mentoring that are used to guide and rigorously evaluate training. Though a commitment to continuously review and improve our program, the training program has kept pace with advancing biomedical research and needs of our trainees. The program features a structured process to aid fellows in selecting research mentors and projects. Prior to beginning research training, trainees 1) are counseled by training faculty leadership, 2) participate in a senior fellow driven research symposium and 3) have a week in the fall during which they are relieved of all clinical responsibilities to conduct interviews with potential mentors. Once in the research training program, mentoring committees track the fellows'progress in several forums, including informally at laboratory meetings as well as in more structure research groups, a UW-wide pulmonary research conference and at regional and national meetings. Training includes instruction in manuscript and grant writing and a review process for research presentations. A series of evaluation metrics have been developed and implemented to monitor progress of the trainees, mentors, and program leadership.
The program stresses the conduct of clinically-relevant research in an ethical and scientifically rigorous manner and has an on-going commitment to attract and train individuals from under- represented minorities.
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