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Physician-Scientist Development Program

The University of Illinois Chicago is committed to developing future leaders in Academic Medicine who will advance our understanding of science and transform clinical care.  Toward this end, we offer a comprehensive Physician-Scientist Development Program that allows residents with extensive research experience to pursue training in Internal Medicine with the guarantee of a position in one of our outstanding subspecialty fellowship programs.  The PSDP is designed in accordance with the American Board of Internal Medicine Research Pathway, offering candidates who intend to pursue careers in basic or clinical research the opportunity to combine residency, fellowship, and research training in order to facilitate their development into independent investigators.  The overall mission of our PSDP is to develop outstanding clinician-scientists who will become highly successful investigators on our faculty and at medical schools across the country.

Program Structure Heading link

Clinical Training

The first two years of training are the same as those of a categorical Internal Medicine resident, including at least twenty (20) months of direct patient care.  In rare instances, trainees may elect to pursue a full three years of Internal Medicine Residency training.  Throughout Residency training, the program director is the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director.

Contingent upon satisfactory completion of the Internal Medicine Residency, the PGY-3 trainee will transition to the fellowship component of their training during which their program director becomes the program director of the their fellowship.  Fellowship training is comprised of a combination of both clinical and research time.  The duration of clinical fellowship training is dependent upon the specific fellowship:

  • 12 Months of Clinical Training: Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism; Geriatric Medicine; Hematology; Infectious Disease; Nephrology; Medical Oncology; Pulmonology; Rheumatology
  • 18 Months of Clinical Training: Gastroenterology; Hematology/Oncology; Pulmonary/Critical Care
  • 24 Months of Clinical Training: Cardiology

Research Training

In addition to clinical training, PSDP trainees are expected to complete three years of mentored research training during which 80% of their time is protected.  The remaining 20% must be spent in clinical experiences, including one half-day per week continuity clinic.  With approval of the fellowship Division, the last year of research training may be completed as a full-time faculty member.

Benefits for PSDP Trainees at the University of Illinois Chicago

Our goal is to foster the development of Physician-Scientists who will become future leaders of Academic Medicine.  To achieve this ambitious goal, the PSDP has a number of embedded elements to promote the success of our trainees, including:

Guaranteed Fellowships and Protected Research Time

In support of our belief that continuity augments success, our PSDP offers guaranteed fellowships to PSDP trainees in order for them to initiate and sustain research endeavors over an extended period of time.  In addition, our hope is for our trainees to ultimately become faculty members in our Department, which supports the development of long-term collaborations between PSDP trainees and faculty members across the Department.

Comprehensive Mentorship

To foster both clinical and research success, PSDP trainees are provided with dedicated mentor teams to support each of these important domains of their training.  In addition, each PSDP trainee has monthly one-on-one meetings with the Division Chief of their subspeciality to further ensure their growth in the chosen area of study.

Financial and Academic Support

In recognition of the investments required to develop outstanding physician-scientists, the Department of Medicine provides financial incentives to support trainee education and career development.  This includes:

  • PGY1 and PGY2: $4000/year to support travel to a national meeting, purchase journals, etc.
  • PGY3: $7000 to purchase of a computer and software, support travel to a national meeting, purchase journals, etc.
  • PGY4-6: $15,000/year to supplement salary above the PGY scale plus an additional $5000/year to support travel to a national meeting and other expenses

Additional Career Development Activities

As the largest research institution in Chicago, the University of Illinois Chicago has immense career development resources across campus.  PSDP trainees will have access to additional opportunities for formal training on aspects essential to their future careers, including but not limited to grant writing, time management, mentoring, and teaching.

Physician-Scientist Mentors at the University of Illinois Chicago

The Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago has many physician-scientists with robust research programs spanning many disciplines and employing novel investigative approaches.  As such, our program is well suited to promote the growth and development of trainees interested in becoming clinician-investigators by providing access to highly successful mentors.

In addition to resources across the Department, the University of Illinois Chicago has a robust research portfolio and outstanding investigators across its many Colleges and Schools, which provide excellent opportunities for PSDP trainees to undertake interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research training to promote their long-term investigative success.

Application Process Heading link

Please note that the Physician-Scientist Development Program is intended for individuals with extensive research training who intend to pursue careers in basic or clinical science.  Generally, this means candidates will already have completed a Ph.D. or other advanced research degree.  Importantly, successful applicants will also have a track record of outstanding clinical performance during medical training.  Applicants for the PSDP will be asked to identify themselves when they receive confirmation of their application to our Categorical Internal Medicine Residency on ERAS.

Additional information concerning prior and current research, future goals, and references from research mentors will then be requested.  PSDP applicants will be interviewed and ranked through the regular NRMP process with the understanding that if they match they will proceed onward in their pre-selected Physician-Scientist subspecialty of their choice.  The American Board of Internal Medicine will be notified prior to the end of the PGY-2 year to ensure that trainees will be able to take their Internal Medicine certification examination at the times required by ABIM policy.

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