The objective of the Stanford Research in Anesthesia Training Program (ReAP) is to train leaders in academic anesthesia. We recognize that in order to accomplish this goal, substantial training beyond an MD or PhD is required. ReAP provides the guidance, training, and mentoring critical for the successful initiation of an independent research career and becoming a leader in the broad field of Anesthesiology. Trainees must learn to pose important and well thought out questions, to think critically, and to use cutting edge interdisciplinary tools to answer these questions. Success also requires the development of skills in presentation of results in oral and written format, in preparation of competitive grant proposals, and in the ability to engage in collaboration when this will more effectively advance the research. The training program starts by recruiting the most talented trainees from MD/PhD, MD and, occasionally, PhD applicants interested in pursuing a career in anesthesia research and academic anesthesia. This recruitment is facilitated by our department's research training continuum featuring both a formal residency research track and, later, comprehensive support in transitioning to a junior faculty position. Once appointed, ReAP trainees select a primary research mentor and a secondary mentor to monitor and facilitate their progress. Close interaction with mentors and other accomplished faculty is essential to master critical skills that form the core of our training program. This is supplemented by didactic material, and, in the case of clinical research, may be augmented further by a master's degree in epidemiology or health science research. Administratively the program consists of a Program Director, Steering Committee, External Advisory Committee and a group of 28 highly skilled and successful training faculty from the anesthesia department and 9 other departments within the medical school. There are already established interactions among many of the faculty members. The diverse faculty is divided into three overarching areas: 1) Neuroscience, Pain and Analgesia, 2) Injury, Inflammation and Immunity, and 3) Outcomes Research, Economics and Bioinformatics. These divisions encompass research areas at the forefront of our field. Our institutionally well-supported program and pipeline of highly qualified candidates will easily support a total of four trainees with two appointed per year anticipating two-year training experiences for most candidates.
Anesthesiologists take care of patients in multiple clinical areas, including the operating room, the intensive care unit, the pain clinic and the preoperative clinic. In all of these settings, they have the opportunity to improve care and outcome of patients with a wide range of disorders. To continue leading the way in advancing our understanding of diverse diseases and developing better interventions in the perioperative period requires highly trained and skilled practitioners dedicated to research in anesthesia. Integrated training programs such as the one proposed are essential to produce these future leaders of our field.
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