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

evention and treatment," says study co-author Daniel E. Singer, MD, associate director of the PCE and director of the General Medicine Fellowship at MGH. "Information generated from clinical trials is often not widely applied to producing safer and more effective medical care. Physician-researchers knowledgeable about biology, clinical medicine and population health who are trained in rigorous research methods are essential to conduct the studies needed to speed translation of knowledge into beneficial medical and public health advances."

Established in 1986, the PCE is an intensive six-and-a-half week summer program based at HSPH that includes core courses in epidemiology and biostatistics along with electives. The epidemiology course requires students to prepare and submit a grant proposal as the final course project, and several electives have added a similar requirement in recent years. Many participants have gone on to pursue advanced degrees after completing the PCE. Most of the almost 1,500 physicians who completed the program during its first two decades enrolled during their post-residency fellowship training.

The Academic Medicine paper describes results of a 20th anniversary survey sent to all PCE graduates in 2006. The survey was designed to evaluate graduates' success and identify features predicting who would achieve successful NIH funding. Among the almost 1,000 graduates responding to the survey, 65 percent indicated that their epidemiology grant proposal led to an actual research project; and of those studies, 64 percent were published and 43 percent received funding. In recent years, real-world projects applying course concepts have been required for completion of elective courses, which led to published studies for 30 percent of all graduates, 14 percent of whom received funding for the projects.

Overall, 34 percent of survey respondents reported receiving NIH support, and 63 percent received support from nonf
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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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