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For more information, contact Gabby Mills
The Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway offered by the Department of Medicine's Internal Medicine Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital provides young physician-scientists with opportunities to flourish within their research interests, while offering a strong system of mentorship and support.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway (PSP) continues a longstanding tradition of educating physician-scientists. It operates under the leadership of the Director of the Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway Jayaraj Rajagopal, MD, Department of Medicine Physician-in-Chief Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, and Internal Medicine Residency Program Director Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD. The Stanbury Service’s mission is the development of physician-scientists within the Mass General Department of Medicine. Students with a strong track record of both clinical and research excellence who anticipate independent research careers as principal investigators with their own laboratories are encouraged to apply.
Named in honor of John Stanbury, MD, the Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway recognizes the life and career of Dr. Stanbury, one of Mass General’s most esteemed physician-scientists. Dr. Stanbury is known for his expertise and contributions to our understanding of the role of iodine in thyroid function, the basis of inherited diseases, and the introduction of dietary iodine supplementation across the world to prevent hypothyroidism and goiter. His important scientific publication, The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease, has been used by generations of scientists, and his dedication to research and improving public health is the basis of what the Stanbury PSP is built on. Learn more about Dr. Stanbury's life and contributions to medicine.
Jayaraj Rajagopal, MDDirector, Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway
Caroline Sokol, MD, PhDAssistant Director
Marc Wein, MD, PhDAssistant Director
Stanbury PSP Trainee Profiles
For over two centuries, Mass General has been at the forefront of medical and scientific innovation. Mass General currently runs the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with $760 million in total research expenditures during 2014 among 30 centers and departments under the umbrella of the MGH Research Institute. While this alone affords one a wide array of options, a key feature of Stanbury PSP culture is that trainees are encouraged to pursue the best scientific training possible for their particular goals, no matter where in Boston that might be found. Whether it is Mass General Research Departments, Programs and Centers, and affiliates such as the Ragon Institute, Harvard University and the diverse institutions participating in its Clinical and Translational Science Center (Harvard Catalyst) including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, MIT, the Broad Institute and the Whitehead Institute, or any other institution in Greater Boston, Mass General will work with trainees to facilitate connections with all the area has to offer. This flexible and innovative environment places at one’s disposal a collection of mentors and colleagues unparalleled in its breadth, depth and spirit of innovation. Moreover, Mass General actively facilitates your interactions with those mentors in their own labs while making sure you retain your links to Mass General clinically and professionally during your laboratory training.
The structure of a Stanbury PSP trainee’s residency is essentially that of a categorical resident. As part of the Stanbury PSP, however, trainees are cohorted on one ambulatory block each year to facilitate dedicated discussion of topics of special relevance to physician-scientists. In PGY-2, for example, the Tools of Human Investigation block taken by all junior residents is tailored to topics of Stanbury PSP interest such as mentoring, career pathways, the mechanics and financing of important transitions and technology transfer. In addition to these blocks, Stanbury PSP trainees gather at several dinner events each year, fostering a sense of community and facilitating additional opportunities for networking and discussion. Similarly, the Jackson Society provides a forum through which trainees may connect with Mass General alumni who have gone on to play important leadership roles in medicine and science. The Stanbury PSP also hosts an outstanding scientist each year to interact for a day with our residents as a Visiting Professor. These outside mentors are leaders in academic medicine and include Nobel laureates. Additionally, we are now rolling out an annual, dedicated series for the benefit of all Stanbury PSP residents in which an outstanding female physician-scientist is invited not only to discuss her science, but also to address topics such as the mentorship of female physician-scientists, gender equity in science, and work-life balance.
Throughout residency, trainees are assigned to Dr. Rajagopal as a primary mentor who then links interns and residents with mentors who understand the complexities of being a physician-scientist, and can help them find the right scientific environments and laboratories in Boston in any area of expertise. Moreover, multiple members within the pathway leadership will actively prompt and facilitate trainees’ efforts to identify additional research and clinical mentors with shared interests. This function is crucial in an expansive research environment such as that found in Boston, as these gateway mentors have sufficient knowledge of the local landscape to efficiently direct a given trainee to labs relevant to his or her interests – or, at a minimum, to someone who can provide more specialized guidance. This is supplemented by additional programs available through various Mass General- and Harvard-affiliated units on topics such as paper writing, mentor-mentee relationships, grant writing, conducting a job search and academic promotion. A variety of additional educational opportunities are available free of charge through Harvard Catalyst, and Mass General trainees are granted full access to the Harvard Library system.
Stanbury PSP trainees are welcome but not required to follow the ABIM Research Pathway (so called ‘short tracking’); among the 11 trainees in the 2014 cohort, 8 have chosen to short-track. Regardless of which path a trainee chooses, the rigor of the Mass General Internal Medicine Residency Program will ensure that he or she is well-prepared for clinical practice in fellowship and beyond, which is especially important for those who will be short-tracking. While short-tracking trainees will not have the benefit of a full senior year, the residency program will work to include in their junior year schedules some of the most popular senior roles, such as Night Teach, Senior On Call, and Consult Senior.
Acceptance to the Mass General Stanbury PSP program is not automatically coupled to an acceptance into an internal fellowship position, and it does not obligate trainees, implicitly or otherwise, to continue fellowship training at Mass General if a given trainee determines that another institution might better suit his or her needs. We do endeavor to make Mass General an optimal place for trainees to perform their fellowships, but trainees are encouraged to explore the full array of available options.
An important feature of Mass General fellowship programs is their robust track record in helping to secure K08/23 funding for fellows transitioning to faculty status, with approximately 43 active awards attributed to Mass General Department of Medicine divisions in 2014. Fellows may also benefit from Harvard Catalyst KL2 awards. For example, this internal mechanism has accounted for approximately 1/4 of K-level grants awarded to individuals within the Division of Infectious Diseases over the past five years, and may serve as a bridge to further K08/23 funding. Funding levels for NIH Loan Repayment Programs are similarly strong, and fellows are encouraged to utilize this avenue to help offset any debts associated with prior medical education. Additional funding for early-career investigators is available via the Mass General Executive Committee on Research, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Catalyst, which also maintains a database of funding opportunities, and the Mass General Department of Medicine. Guidance for K-level awardees on securing R-level funding and leading a lab is available via Harvard Catalyst, and a variety of relevant educational programs are available through the MGH Office for Research Career Development.
All Mass General Internal Medicine residents may claim financial support to offset conference expenses, with the flexibility to consider additional needs on a case by case basis. If an individual trainee has particular needs for travel or coverage for academic meetings such as Keystone and Gordon Conferences, the residency program and the Stanbury PSP will do their utmost to promote the activity in question.
All fellowship programs within the Mass General Department of Medicine supplement fellows’ income to the Partners PGY scale during the initial year of fellowship research rather than paying fellows on the NIH postdoctoral stipend scale, with some also working to supplement income beyond PGY-5. For example, a trainee who has completed three years of residency and the first, clinical year of fellowship would typically be supported in his or her first year of fellowship research by a T32 with supplemental divisional funding to the Partners PGY-5 salary of $71,000. First-year fellows with undergraduate or medical school debt are also eligible to apply for one of the available NIH Loan Repayment Programs, as discussed above.
The Mass General Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway seeks individuals who have distinguished themselves both clinically and scientifically as students, thus demonstrating strong potential for successful careers as physician-scientists. Although most trainees have a PhD, any individual with a strong research background and an interest in a career as a physician-scientist is encouraged to apply. In particular, Mass General strongly supports the advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in research and clinical careers. Interested applicants should apply directly to the Categorical Internal Medicine Residency Program via ERAS. There is no additional requirement to apply to the Stanbury PSP – no supplemental application, no special item to click on. Rather, ERAS applications will be reviewed by the residency program and those describing a clear dedication to research will further be reviewed by the Stanbury PSP, after which a select number of physician-scientist applicants will be invited to interview on four dedicated dates. For more information, please contact Gabby Mills.
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