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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, MDCo-Director, Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway
Caroline Sokol, MD, PhDCo-Director, Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway
Marc Wein, MD, PhDAssistant Director, Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway
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 receive a special curriculum targeted for physician-scientists. This curriculum includes scientific talks throughout the year with cutting edge MGH researchers, journal clubs, and career development sessions. In PGY-2, the Stanbury PSP trainees are brought together during the Tools of Human Investigation block. This special block for the Stanbury PSP group provides an opportunity for Stanbury residents to hear directly from leading physician-scientists in Boston, and is tailored to topics relevant to physician-scientists such as mentoring, career pathways, the mechanics and financing of important transitions and technology transfer. All Stanbury PSP trainees give “chalk talks” on their work during the Tools of Human Investigation block, allowing us the opportunity to learn from each other. In addition to the formal curriculum, Stanbury PSP trainees gather at a yearly off-site retreat and at several journal clubs and 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 plays an active role in promoting scientific inquiry and discovery in the residency program. Stanbury PSP residents host two outstanding scientists each year to give medical grand rounds and interact with our residents as a Visiting Professor (the Ausiello Lecture and the Federov Zeitels Lecture). The Ausiello Lectureship features outside mentors who are leaders in academic medicine and include Nobel laureates. The Federov Zeitels Lecture has a focus on young, cutting edge scientists. Finally, the Stanbury PSP residents have the opportunity to present their research in a yearly medical grand rounds (the Stanbury Service Presents).
Frequently asked questions about the Stanbury Program
In addition to fostering a sense of community among like-minded physician-scientists, mentorship is central to the Stanbury PSP mission. Throughout residency, trainees are assigned to Dr. Rajagopal as a primary mentor who then links interns and residents with mentors who understand the opportunities and challenges of being a physician-scientist, and can help them find the “right” scientific environments and laboratories in Boston in any scientific area. Moreover, Dr. Sokol and Dr. Wein will actively facilitate trainees’ efforts to identify additional research and clinical mentors with shared interests. Developing a network of mentors is invaluable in the rich and expansive research environment in Boston, and the Stanbury PSP administration acts as gateway mentors to facilitate a trainee’s scientific journey. This is supplemented by additional programs available through various MGH- 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 MGH 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’). Trainees have until December 15th of their intern year to decide whether they will short-track. If they decide to short-track, a special schedule, combining rotations of Junior and Senior residents, will be generated for their second year. Regardless of which path a trainee chooses, the rigor of the MGH 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.
2018-2019 Stanbury PSP events calendar
Acceptance to the MGH 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 MGH if a given trainee determines that another institution might better suit his or her needs. We do endeavor to make MGH an optimal place for trainees to perform their fellowships, but trainees are encouraged to explore the full array of available options. From 2014-2018, 71% of trainees chose to stay at MGH or joint Harvard Medical School fellowships. The rest of our graduates have elected to pursue fellowships at prominent institutions such as Memorial Sloan Kettering, Stanford and Johns Hopkins.
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 MGH 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 MGH 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 MGH 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, MGH 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, but indicate their interest in the Stanbury PSP program by checking that box within the Categorical application. ERAS applications will be reviewed by both the categorical residency program and the Stanbury PSP, after which a select number of physician-scientist applicants will be invited to interview. Stanbury PSP interviews take place on the day after applicants’ Categorical Internal Medicine Residency Interview and are an opportunity to discuss your science and learn about the program. Invited applicants will be able to choose from four dedicated dates. For more information, please see our FAQ or contact Gabby Mills.
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