The postgraduate training program in the 5th and 6th years of residency is considered equivalent to fellowship programs in the United States. Our fellowship integrates state-of-the-art thinking and methods from various specialties. The program imparts the knowledge and experience necessary to allow each fellow to become a competent clinical scientist, with the opportunity to obtain expertise in one or more subspecialties. To this end, each fellow rotates through a series of clinical services, which provides the backbone of his/her clinical experience. In addition, fellows are expected to pursue clinical or laboratory research.
Ph.D. Program for Clinicians
Driven by both the demands for improved treatment and the explosion of knowledge about the molecular and cellular basis of human disease, the need for physicians trained in scientific methods is increasing. The guiding principle of the Ph.D. program for clinicians at CMU is that the future intellectual leadership of medicine can be best provided by individuals trained in both basic scientific research and clinical medicine—in other words, by integrated physician-scientists.
The Ph.D. Program provides a unique training environment for exceptionally qualified individuals who have recently completed residency training and want to pursue careers in academic medicine and research. The program accepts approximately 3–5 Ph.D. students each year, and presently more than forty students are enrolled.
The first two years of the program consist of the core basic science courses of the medical curriculum, an overall survey of the mechanisms of human disease, laboratory rotations, and a variety of meetings designed to facilitate contact with potential faculty mentors. This is followed by two to three years of training in research methods for completing the Ph.D. degree. Since the start of the Ph.D. program 7 years ago, there have been about 10 graduates, and, these physician scientists have made significant contributions to the academic achievements in this institution.