The mission of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is to train physician-scientists who will become future leaders in biomedical and clinical research. The MSTP strives to recruit a diverse group of outstanding students. It provides them with rigorous integrate medical and research training that prepares them for careers as physician-scientists. Through a flexible and continously evolving curriculum that includes 1) specialized MSTP courses and 2) integration of graduate and medical school curriculum in the first 2 years, the students are guided through a program that can be tailored to meet their individual needs and interests. The progam seeks to provide the trainees with a solid foundation for careers as independent physician-scientists and to facilitate their placement into outstanding postgraduate training programs to facilitate the next step in their career progression. The training program has 3 phases. In the first 2 years students take an integrated combination of medical, graduate and MSTP-specific courses to provide the didactic foundation for their reseach and clinical training. They perform research rotations to assist them in choosing their thesis research lab. In the program's 2nd phase, they perform independent, original research under their mentor's guidance. They publish their discoveries in high quality peer-reviewed papers, and prepare and defend a PhD thesis. Participation in an evening, MSTP-run, ambulatory outpatient clinic allows them to build their clinical skills during the PhD phase of the program. In the final phase, they complete their clinical training on the wards. We are developing a longitudinal learning experience to foster rigor and reproducibility in the research performed by MSTP students. The admissions process seeks to identify individuals with the intelligence, curiosity, creativity, resilience, perseverence and enthusiam for science that is essential for future success in a research career. Currently, 103 trainees are in the program, 37% are woman and 25% are members of underrepresented minorities. We plan to expand the program to a steady state size of ~120-130 trainees by increasing the size of our entering class to 16. Since its inception in 1964, as one of the first three NIH funded MD-PhD training programs, 425 trainees have graduated. 346 have completed postgraduate training and published over 18,000 papers, an average of 53 papers per graduate. 74% have jobs at academic medical centers, research institutes, NIH or pharmaceutical companies. By various measures, the program graduates have achieved outstanding success in their chosen careers. They have advanced biomedical research and academic medicine. Based on the quality of our past accomplishments and the new developments in biomedical research, we propose to evolve the program, to further integrate graduate and medical training, and increase opportunities for involvement in clinical and translational research in order to prepare a future generation of physician-scientists who will be at the leading edge of biomedical research with the ultimate goal of improving human health and reducing the burden of disease.
Physician-scientists perform a critical role at the interface between basic biomedical research and clinical medicine. This program will train a diverse group of outstanding students and prepare them to enter the biomedical research workforce as physician-scientists who will perform basic, translational, and clinical research. This research will lead to new treatments to prevent or cure disease and improve the health of all Americans.
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