Physician Scientist Training Program

Overview

The Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in the Department of Internal Medicine is a post graduate training program intended to produce clinically trained scientists with interests ranging from basic to translational and clinically oriented research. The program accepts qualified applicants who have completed combined MD-PhD degrees (or an MD degree with significant research training) into a program that includes both clinical training and post doctoral research.

PSTP Structure

The pathway begins with clinical training in the University of Utah's Internal Medicine Residency Training Program. Residents benefit from exposure to complex and diverse patient populations from throughout the Intermountain West in an environment that values teaching, camaraderie and a high level of resident autonomy. Participants are able to pursue the American Board of Internal Medicine's Research Training Pathway (i.e. "Short Track") which allows qualified candidates to begin their sub-specialty fellowship training in lieu of their third year of residency.

Clinical Fellowship Training

PSTP participants will be given the opportunity to pursue subspecialty training in any of the University of Utah's Medicine fellowships. The Department of Medicine has 12 ACGME accredited clinical fellowships including fellowships in Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Hematology and Oncology, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Pulmonary and Critical Care, and Rheumatology. Four fellowships have well-established NIH Training Grants. There are also a number of non-ACGME fellowship training opportunities in areas ranging from general medicine and hospitalist medicine to ethics.

Post-Doctoral Research

Trainees are given great flexibility in their selection of laboratories and mentors for post-doctoral research. Trainees may choose to pursue research within the Department of Medicine or take advantage of other opportunities and collaborations within the School of Medicine. The University of Utah is the home to a number of world class research centers including the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, and the Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Training & Research Institute.

Curriculum

During the first two years of the program, trainees enter a formal mentorship program that encourages participation in journal club and laboratory meetings. In addition, residents meet regularly with a senior physician scientist of their choice to explore career paths and potential areas of interest. PSTP trainees are encouraged to attend didactic coursework and seminar series that integrate MD clinical and research fellows, MD/PhD students, and PhD students and postdoctoral fellows interested in molecular medicine.

Additional Support

Trainees within the PSTP are guaranteed stipend support for residency and fellowship training. Throughout the entire length of the program, the trainees receive additional financial resources to support their educational needs.

PGY1 / PGY2

During internship and the junior year of residency, trainees will receive educational funding of $1500/year to support the purchase of computers, software, journal subscriptions and conference registration.

Clinical Fellowship

During the year(s) of clinical fellowship training, trainees will continue to receive educational funding of $1500/year to support the purchase of computers, software, journal subscriptions and conference registration

Research Fellowship Years

During research years, after the candidate is board eligible, the candidate will be given a faculty appointment. Individuals who are awarded an individual extramural career development grant will be eligible for a $10,000 incentive payment.

Application Process

Eligible candidates must have an MD-PhD or an MD with a strong background in research. They must also meet eligibility requirements for the University of Utah's Internal Medicine Residency Training Program.

Interested applicants must apply using the NRMP code 1732140C1 for the Categorical-Research Internal Medicine, but must use the Categorical Medicine NRMP code (1732140C0) for ranking, as PSTP residents are embedded within the categorical program. The application requirements for the PSTP are the same as for the categorical training program but the PSTP candidates must also submit the two following documents to improg@hsc.utah.edu:

  1. A letter outlining specific subspecialty of interest and the reason(s) for that subspecialty.
  2. An abstract outlining intended research within that subspecialty.

Candidates should apply for both the PSTP (1732140C1) and the conventional categorical residency program (1732140C0). For candidates invited to interview for the PSTP, the interview day will begin with the categorical residents and will be extended to include interviews with PSTP leadership and potential fellowship faculty and research mentors in the afternoon. The day will be tailored to the candidates needs based on the content of the PSTP application form and communication with the candidate prior to the interview day.

Once accepted, a PSTP trainee may pursue the American Board of Internal Medicine's Research Pathway (i.e. "Short Track") as long as the trainee complies with requirements as outlined by the ABIM and maintains performance a level of "high satisfactory" or better as determined by the Clinical Comptency Committee. 

For more information about the Physician Scientist Program, please contact us.