This application seeks to renew the funding for an expanded T32 training program at Washington University, with two additional trainee slots, for physician and doctoral scientists pursuing a career in anesthesiology- related research. The practice of anesthesiology is complex and far reaching and anesthesiologists are taking increasing responsibility for all aspects of perioperative medical care. The research interests of anesthesiology span this broad clinical realm and have the potential to impact much of medicine as a whole. Developments in basic and clinical science over the past decade have made the fundamental unsolved problems in anesthesiology research scientifically tractable. Despite the potential of its research programs for broad scientific and therapeutic impact, anesthesiology has lagged behind many other specialties in training physicians and basic scientists in research. Our program is directed at resolving the unmet need for a robust pipeline of researchers equipped to address the fundamental problems in anesthesiology practice. The overarching goal of the Washington University Department of Anesthesiology T32 program is to train a diverse group of anesthesiology scientists with appropriate scientific skills to address the research priorities in anesthesiology-related science. In order to accomplish this, we focus on: (i) recruiting and training the most talented early stage anesthesiology scholars; (ii) identifying training opportunities in high priority and high yield scientific areas; (iii) providing expert, accountable and dedicated research mentorship to T32 trainees; (iv) programmatically and systematically enhancing research training; (v) assessing trainee's personalized goals and progress; and (vi) providing state-of-the art curricula and facilities as well as networking and educational opportunities. The Washington University Anesthesiology Department is among the most successful in academic anesthesiology, consistently ranking among the highest funded and most productive departments in the United States. T32 trainees in the Anesthesiology Department are typically selected from a cohort of research residents, which is one of the largest nationally, based on the vibrant and highly effective Academic Scholars Advancement Program and the Scholars track. Trainees judged to have the greatest commitment to a career in anesthesiology-related research and to have the greatest potential to advance the science or practice of anesthesiology are selected. Graduates from our T32 have been successful in publishing high impact research, obtaining competitive training grants, and continuing in academic faculty appointments at our university. Based on this track record, we propose to increase the number of T32 trainees from two to three per year. Two program directors (PDs) and an executive advisory committee (EAC) administer the training program. Mentors for the program have been carefully chosen based on the quality and relevance of their science, and demonstrated mentorship experience and success. Trainee-mentor pairing is facilitated and approved by the PDs and EAC. Trainees and mentors are formally evaluated twice annually for progress and satisfaction. Emphasis during these evaluations is placed on attaining milestones such as manuscript and grant submissions, and on progress towards development of an independent research program. The PDs, the EAC and the trainees evaluate the training program twice annually, and make ongoing recommendations for improvements. Our program also plays a leadership role in the Early Stage Anesthesiology Scholars (eSAS) initiative and in collaborative ventures with other national T32 programs. Therefore, our T32 trainees, in addition to obtaining foundational research skills, also develop key networking and leadership abilities.
Anesthesiology has an increasing impact on overall patient care and outcomes through a comprehensive perioperative care model. However, anesthesiology research to improve perioperative patient outcomes is limited by the number of well-trained scientists and physicians devoted to anesthesiology research. This T32 program is aimed at increasing the number of well-trained anesthesiology researchers by supporting a formal training program in anesthesiology research at Washington University, which has one of the largest anesthesiology research programs in the US.
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