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Intensive summer program helps physicians build clinical research careers
Date:3/24/2009

Graduates of the Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE), which has trained almost 1,900 physicians to be clinical investigators since 1986, have achieved significant success in receiving grant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funders, along with other accomplishments considered key to establishing a research career. A report on the PCE a joint program of Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) with strong input from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) from a team of investigators at the three institutions appears in the April issue of Academic Medicine, along with several other articles addressing the NIH vision for clinical and translational research.

"Our survey found that graduates of the Program in Clinical Effectiveness have been able to successfully obtain grant funding, publish, gain promotions, negotiate protected research time and rise to leadership roles in public health, academic medicine and the private sector," says Mary Ellen Goldhamer, MD, MPH, an MGH physician and PCE graduate who led the study. "As far as we know, the PCE is the original and largest program focusing on clinical research training for physicians and is distinctive in providing research training with a particular emphasis on clinical trials, clinical epidemiology and health services research concurrent with clinical training."

The authors note that the number of physician investigators is dropping nationally due to factors such as heavy educational debt, the lengthy training required, and the challenges of securing grant funding along with time to conduct research. But at the same time, research focused on translating basic scientific discoveries into clinical treatments is more important than ever.

"The scientific knowledge gained through unraveling the genome and deciphering cellular mechanisms in great detail has not led to commensurate improvement in disease pr
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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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