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Program Design and Tracks

The PSTP aims to provide:

  • Intensive mentorship, including a special PSTP faculty advisor throughout the entire training period, who will provide individual academic and career counseling and will assist the trainee in selecting scientific mentors.  Peer mentorship is encouraged among fellows, residents, and MD/PhD students.
  • Membership in a strong community of physician-scientists, which promotes scientific development through exposure to PhD, MD/PhD, and MD scientists throughout UCSD and the surrounding Scientific Institutes.  Community building occurs through social events, specialized lectures, journal clubs, special courses (e.g., on grant writing), and quarterly meetings.
  • A combination of vigorous clinical and scientific training, with early admission to a subspecialty fellowship program and exposure to research opportunities.

Trainees may elect to follow one of two tracks in preparation for faculty positions:  either the two-year ABIM Research Residency Pathway, which requires a cooperating fellowship program to complete 12-18 months of clinical training and two to three years of research training; or they can choose to complete three years of residency (with a research elective in the third year), followed by a fellowship.  In either case, the first two clinical years are very similar to those in the Categorical Track of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.  Participating subspecialties have agreed to provide preferential acceptance of qualified PSTP trainees who are committed to a career in academic medicine and who complete their clinical training successfully.  Traditionally, a majority of PSTP applicants has opted for the two-year "short-track" pathway, but the changing landscape of post-graduate medical education has recently prompted some applicants to choose three-years of residency training.  The decision between the two tracks needs to be finalized mid-way during internship, in consultation with the Program Directors.   The goal is to provide each resident with the best pathway for a successful physician-scientist career in academic medicine.  Early admission into a subspecialty fellowship program allows participation in the two-year short-track pathway, but also has advantages for applicants who desire to complete three years of residency as part of the PSTP, since it connects them with the fellowship of their choice and allows smooth reentry into state-of-the-art research.

Participating UCSD Fellowship Programs: