A Developmental Model for Enhancing Research Training During Psychiatry Residency

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ObjectiveThe authors describe a developmental model for enhancing residency research training for careers in academic psychiatry. Over the past 10 years, the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry has developed a research track (RT) for its residents. While the Department's plan has been to address the critical need of training physician-scientists in psychiatry, the RT continues to evolve as a structured extension of the University's residency-training program. Recently, the University's departmental leadership has taken several steps that address regulatory, institutional, and personal barriers to residency research training put forth by the 2003 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report.MethodsThe authors outline a model of residency research training, elements of which should be exportable to the majority of U.S. psychiatry residency programs.ResultsFor residents in the RT, up to 50% of time in PGY-3 and up to 75% of time in PGY-4 can be devoted to research-related activities. The authors currently have 13 residents and fellows in their track. Over the past 10 years, 15 of 33 RT residents have become research postdocs or full-time grant-funded researchers in academic positions.ConclusionThe authors' experience suggests that it is possible to organize and implement an RT during psychiatry residency within the parameters presented by the Psychiatry Residency Review Committee (RRC).

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