Eleven-Year Outcomes From an Integrated Residency Program to Train Research Psychiatrists

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In 2000, to address the critical shortage of research psychiatrists, faculty in the Residency Training Program in General Adult Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine developed and implemented a research resident training program (RRTP). In this article, the authors describe the program’s development process, including its organizational structure, eligibility criteria for residents, and core program elements, and they report 11 years of outcomes data. Notable RRTP components include research and career mentorship, individualized training plans, the integration of clinical and research experiences, protected research time, and research funding. From 2000 to 2011, the RRTP enrolled 48 residents. The authors’ primary outcome of interest in determining the success of the program was whether or not each RRTP resident entered a postdoctoral research fellowship after graduation. The authors found that more than 80% of graduates had matriculated to postdoctoral research fellowships, irrespective of their previous doctoral-level training in the basic or social sciences. The authors conclude that this flexible, individualized, and innovative training program for psychiatry residents was successful in facilitating the entry of participants into primary research careers, reasoning that it may serve as a model for other residency programs with similar goals. More widespread adoption of similar educational models may help to address the critical shortage of research psychiatrists.

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