There is a growing demand for psychiatrists to conduct research in the areas of mental health and illness that is currently not being met, leading to multiple calls for enhancing research training during residency in order to increase the number of academic psychiatrists. To address this need for more clinician scientists, the General (Adult) Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Training Programs at Washington University propose to create the Psychiatry Residency Research Education Program (PRREP) that spans both training programs. PRREP seeks to increase the number of psychiatric residents and fellows who become successful academic psychiatrists by addressing several key areas ? recruitment, career counseling, and better preparation of trainees for formal research training at the T32 level. PRREP will build on the strong history of research and mentoring of our Department of Psychiatry at Washington University. The program will have two phases. Phase 1 covers the application/recruitment period and the first two years of residency training and Phase 2 covers the advanced years of training and transition into early post-residency research fellowships. Phase 1 is designed to increase the number of psychiatry trainees interested in a research career by enhancing recruitment and providing early education (career counseling/mentoring, didactics, seminars, on-line coursework) and introductory research experiences. Participants interested in continuing in the program will transition to Phase 2. Phase 2 will provide additional research education and participants will design and conduct a formal research project with the aid of a mentor so that the participants are better prepared for more formal research training at the T32 level. Total time spent in research will be 12 months for a resident in the 4- year Adult program and 13.5 months for a CAP resident who is in training for 5 years. The program is also structured to accommodate individuals with significant past research experience (e.g. MD/PhDs) as well as trainees who come to Washington University as a first year CAP fellow. There are additional evaluation and dissemination components to the program. The requested R25 funds will allow us to transform our efforts in preparing residents for a career in academic psychiatry. PRREP will change training that consisted of a short period of required research time in the last year of training into one that will include recruitment efforts, mentoring, restructured didactics, formal coursework, and research opportunities throughout residency training.
The proposed Psychiatry Residency Research Education Program will increase recruitment and training of psychiatrists for a career in academic psychiatry in order to meet the increasing shortage of physicians who conduct research in mental health and mental disorders. Training will focus on basic neuroscience, clinical science, imagining, genetics, public health, and epidemiology but can be in any area that impacts mental health and illness.