Friday, October 4 12th Annual Research Retreat Kathy Neuzil, MD, MPH University of Washington, SPH, PATH
Continued medical discovery and its translation into improved patient care depend on the continued development of well trained physician and basic scientists. Over the past few years the number of young scientists with career development funding, such as K awards, has grown exponentially, at Vanderbilt and nationally, due to the success of institutional and NIH funded career development programs. The Office for Clinical & Translational Scientist Development (CTSD) provides an integrated career development program for all physician-scientists, regardless of their scope of research, and for basic scientists engaged in translational or clinical research.
Protected Time for Research: Successful career development requires protected time for research and writing. However, for physician-scientists, the competing demands of clinical or administrative work can erode research time. Staffing and financial considerations may lead supervisors to prioritize short term departmental needs over individual long-term career development. One role of the Office for CTSD is to ensure that faculty members receive protected time for research as mandated by career development awards.
Mentorship and Shepherding: Mentorship remains a cornerstone of successful career development. Nevertheless, many promising physician-scientists may not know how to choose the appropriate mentor, do not know what to ask of a mentor, or how to manage a mentoring relationship. Conversely, mentorship qualities and techniques must be learned, even by the most gifted scientists. A goal of the Office of CTSD is to assist early career investigators in selecting appropriate mentors and to provide development opportunities and incentives to mentors.
Career Development Activities: Skills in time management, communication, laboratory and personnel management, negotiation and stress management can enhance the career development of young researchers. A goal of the Office of CTSD is to provide formal career development resources for all junior early career investigators.
Paper and Grant Writing Support: In addition to didactic training in manuscript and grant writing, young investigators require infrastructure support for grant preparation. The Office for CTSD provides a library of successful grants as well as an internal grant pre-review process.
Outcome Metrics: The Office for CTSD uses endpoints such as publication rates, grant success (particularly K to R conversion), diversity among the faculty, retention of Newman Society members in academic medicine on tenure track, and investment costs per faculty member to evaluate the success of its programs.