We encourage residents interested in a career as a physician scientist to consider the ABIM Research Pathway. We follow the ABIM guidelines, which can be found at http://www.abim.org/cert/respath_pp.shtm. The typical approach is two years of clinical training followed by two years of research; the residency supports the first year of research (the PGY3 year) and the fellowship or investigator supports the second year of research (the PGY4 year). This arrangement is very attractive for our faculty, who have a junior research colleague for a year paid by the residency. We have a number of NIH training grants to support the PGY4 year, or they can be supported from fellowship funding.
Our overall approach is one that emphasizes flexibility. Some residents have a clear idea about who they want to work with and what fellowship they want to do, and we set all of this up at the outset. For residents who are not sure of their career path, we provide mentoring through our Chair, Dr. Walsh, who is a distinguished physician scientist very committed to young investigators, and our Division Chiefs. We also have monthly meetings of resident and student physician scientists- the focus on these meetings is career development, with faculty members giving talks on their research careers and academic life (these meetings are knows as the Agre Society, named for Peter Agre who was a resident here in the 80′s who won the Nobel Prize in 2004). We also emphasize flexibility in the two vs. three years of residency- some students are unsure about cutting their clinical training short, and want to wait until the end of the intern year or the beginning of the PGY2 year to make the commitment. Our Department ranks in the top 10% nationally in terms of NIH funding, and we have many faculty who welcome resident research colleagues.