The goal of this application is to build upon and enhance the outstanding academic training currently provided in the UCSD Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center. WRHR Scholars are selected through nationwide searches by an Advisory Committee comprised of internationally recognized researchers that identifies high-performing OB/GYN physicians who aspire to scientific excellence in Women's Health and are committed to academic careers as physician-scientists. Scholars are matched with an established senior-scientist Mentor from a broad range of Women's Health interest areas including epidemiology, perinatal physiology and genetics, obesity and metabolism, urogynecology, reproductive endocrinology, and cancer. The program is flexibly organized into two phases: in the first 1 to 2 years, the Scholar works toward research competency;in the final 3 to 4 years, efforts are directed to achieving research independence and academic expertise. During Phase 1, didactic and practical instruction supplements intensive laboratory work, and clinical work is minimized. First phase Scholars participate in the two-year CREST program in epidemiology, biostatistics, data management, and informatics. During a third optional year, an MPH degree can be achieved. In Phase 2, Scholars join the UCSD NCLAM Leadership Program, which teaches academic development, leadership, and organizational effectiveness and prepares the Scholar to function as an accomplished Associate Professor. Individualized instruction in grant writing, ethics, and medical enterprise is conducted regularly. Throughout, the Center's Mentoring Committee closely monitors Scholars'progress in monthly meetings and an Individual Mentoring Committee (similar to a PhD Thesis committee), appointed specifically for each Scholar, meets twice yearly, ensuring that both the research environment and clinical demands are optimized and balanced. The Advisory Committee reviews Mentoring Committee reports annually and assesses each Scholar's advancement and reappointment to the program yearly. The well-established success of the Center over the last ten years will be enhanced and extended as a new a cadre of outstanding Scholars is recruited, trained and transitioned into mature clinician-scientists.
The WRHR Career Development Program addresses the need for greater numbers of obstetrician-gynecologist physician scientists performing research on Women's Health. The program addresses a continued need for bridging clinical training with an independent career in research addressing women's health concerns. The primary goal is to increase the research capacity of clinically trained obstetrician-gynecologists to address clinically relevant but underserved areas of Women's Health Research.
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