Physician scientists (MD-PhDs) are uniquely positioned to address many of the challenges at the forefront of modern medicine. During the first 14 years of support, the Mayo Clinic MSTP has dedicated itself to training talented and passionate students to be critical, productive physician scientists. Our mission is to prepare our students for academic careers in basic, translational and clinical research, focused on studying fundamental questions and translating basic discoveries into medical advances. The program philosophy is that the skills required for this type of academic career are best developed in a basic research setting. However, the unique quality of the physician scientist is the ability to integrate basic studies with translational and clinical research to ultimately advance the practice of medicine, and the Mayo Clinic MSTP strives continually to improve the integration of clinical and basic research training. First awarded an MSTP grant in 2003 and renewed twice, our MSTP has continued to develop and mature while maintaining aspects that were previously praised by reviewers. The main strengths of our MSTP are: ? An enthusiastic training faculty of 71 mentors who provide extensive opportunities for cutting-edge interdisciplinary training in basic, translational, and clinical research; ? Outstanding current trainees who are passionate about the study of fundamental biological processes of relevance to human disease; ? A highly competitive applicant pool; ? An autonomous admissions process that enables selection of students based on their prior research experiences and excitement for biomedical research; ? An effective recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity, with three URM students who completed training during the past five years and 12 URM or students with disabilities currently in training; ? Integration of medical and graduate school curricula, which allows students to complete three required graduate courses and two laboratory rotations during MS1 and MS2; ? Programmatic features, including the MSTP Selectives, Weekly MSTP Conferences, MSTP Annual Retreat, MSTP Clinical Experiences Program and MSTP Clinical Re-Entry Course, as well as individualized development support that respond to specific needs of MD-PhD trainees; ? Strong institutional support for education, which enables us to fund our MD-PhD students throughout their medical and graduate training, providing exceptional flexibility in choosing thesis laboratories; ? Exceptional research resources that enhance our students' educational experiences; ? A dedicated, interactive, and supportive team consisting of the Director, Associate Directors, administrators and student leadership.
The educational mission of the Mayo Clinic MSTP is to train future leaders in biomedical research and academic medicine. In addition to providing strong education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry, we strive to (i) train our students to seek medical implications in even the most basic scientific discoveries; (ii) foster their innate curiosity so that they will be keen to take clinical questions back to the laboratory to look for new fundamental knowledge; and (iii) develop their leadership and collaborative skills so that they will be prepared to bridge basic and clinical research efforts as they pave the way for innovative solutions to medical problems. Mayo Clinic's exceptionally strong integration between basic science and clinical and translational research fosters the environment necessary to achieve our educational mission.
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