The Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is committed to training the next generation of physician scientist leaders in Clinical Pathology and Anatomic Pathology. The program focuses on providing support and mentorship through the clinical and postdoctoral training years to prepare trainees for highly competitive tenure track academic positions as an independent physician scientist. Although the regular three-year Clinical Pathology and Anatomic Pathology Residency Programs include time for research training, the Department recognizes that serious basic science training requires substantial additional time. Thus, the Department supports PSTP trainees for up to an additional three years dedicated entirely to research training after completion of residency. During this research training there are no required clinical activities. The PSTP combines the intensive clinical training environment of New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill Cornell Medical College with rigorous basic and translational science training in any laboratory at Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering or the Hospital for Special Surgery. Leading laboratories in these institutions represent a range of disciplines including cancer biology, vascular biology, microbiology, genetics, biomedical engineering, immunobiology, genomics, neurobiology, computational sciences, cell biology, and biochemistry.
Eligible applicants include graduates with a combined MD-PhD degree or an MD degree and a strong record of basic science research experience. Applicants must fulfill all eligibility requirements for clinical or anatomic pathology training. The most competitive candidates will have a strong commitment to a research career in academic medicine and an outstanding academic and research record.
Trainees complete the clinical training required by the American Board of Pathology for board eligibility in clinical or anatomic pathology during the first three years of training. During this period, trainees also initiate their research programs. Mentorship is crucial to the PSTP, which therefore includes collaborative assessment of research training mentors and experiences through regular updates to the PSTP Committee. The goal is to tailor the training experience to foster the development of uniquely trained individuals who will work at the forefront of biomedical science. At the end of residency, trainees embark on up to three years of full-time postdoctoral research training free of clinical commitments, though there are opportunities if the trainee wishes to continue some limited clinical activities. The selection of an appropriate postdoctoral training environment is critical to the success of the trainee. To assist in this critical selection process, trainees will have (in addition to intensive mentoring) the opportunity to attend annual retreats offered by different research programs.
Trainees are guaranteed salary support for three clinical training years and up to three postdoctoral training years. This salary support follows the established post-graduate clinical training salaries for the three clinical years. During the postdoctoral training years, trainees receive a salary supplement in addition to the PGY salary. In addition, senior trainees are considered for promotion to Instructor. Senior trainees are encouraged to obtain additional funding to facilitate their ultimate transition to their first academic position. Funding sources include K08 and DOD fellowships and private foundation grants, such as the Burroughs Wellcome Award. Trainees will be closely mentored as they prepare these proposals.
Applicants interested in being considered for the PSTP in either Anatomic Pathology or Clinical Pathology would indicate this on the questionnaire, that they will receive when they are invited for an interview. These applicants should provide an additional brief (not longer than one page) summary of their short- (training) and long- (independent faculty) term research interests. In addition, letters of support that speak specifically to the applicants potential for a career as an independent research scientist will also be needed.
Select applicants to the PSTP will be invited for a two-day interview, which will be comprised of interviews with clinical faculty and research faculty in the candidate's research interest area. The candidate will also present a research seminar on covering their thesis work.