ACGME Fellowship Program - Research Training
Another unique aspect of the training program in Endocrinology and Metabolism at The University of Chicago is that it offers three tracks for prospective fellows. The tracks include basic science/translational research, clinical investigator, and combined endocrinology/outcomes research:
Basic Science Track
This track is designed to provide an in-depth, laboratory-based training experience in the latest molecular, cellular and biophysical techniques utilized in endocrinology and metabolism research, and their application to clinical medicine. In the initial months of the program, the fellow selects a laboratory and formulates a research project under the guidance of their chosen mentor. Those trainees without prior formal basic science training will be encouraged to take selected classes relevant to their research. These classes are offered within the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago and are free of charge to trainees. In addition, since several of the potential mentors from our section are key faculty in the Committee for Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition (CMMN) Ph.D. program, they can guide trainees in their selection of appropriate courses from the CMMN curriculum.
Clinical Investigator Track
This track is designed to train fellows in the art of clinical research. The trainee will learn how to design and execute clinical research protocols. Upon entering the program, the fellow in the Clinical Investigator Tract will select a clinical research project and, working closely with their mentor, acquire skills in data design and interpretation. An important aspect of training a successful clinical investigator is the trainee's acquisition of skill in statistical analysis of clinical data. Didactic courses in both statistics and other relevant areas are offered as part of the formal training through Essentials in Patient Oriented Research (EPOR) lecture series.
In addition, fellows may enroll in the NIH sponsored Clinical Research Training Program , which provides formal training in methods of clinical research and confers a Certificate in Clinical Research.
Combined Fellowship in Endocrinology and Outcomes Research
This combined fellowship program is designed for individuals with a strong commitment to both endocrinology and outcomes research, or more broadly health services research which includes but is not limited to investigation of quality of care, access to care (disparities), and cost of care. It combines the clinical training in endocrinology, didactic courses in epidemiology, statistics and health outcomes, and practical experience of conducting outcomes research. This program is a collaboration between the Section of Endocrinology, Section of General Internal Medicine (GIM), and Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago. Trainees will have dual mentorship consisting of a faculty member from Endocrinology and a faculty member from GIM who is involved in outcomes research. The program is comprised of 3 components:
- Clinical training in Endocrinology and conferences described for the Endocrine Fellowship apply to the trainees in the combined program as well
- Research component consists of health services research under the mentorship of faculty from GIM Research Fellowship which includes:
- Development and execution of the research plan in outcomes research related to endocrine disorders. Faculty involved in this program have ongoing research in the areas of vulnerable populations, health disparities, quality of care & outcomes, cost-effectiveness, obesity and diabetes.
- Wednesday mornings: Outcomes research workshop
- Fridays at noon: Research and progress conference
- Educational component is a formal training program in Department of Health Studies (Master’s Program for Clinical Professionals –MSCP), It is expected that the fellows will complete the requirements for Masters of Science in Health Studies. These requirements consist of 9 courses and a Masters paper. It is possible to complete the required course work for MSCP in 1 year, but many candidates take more time when combining it with clinical responsibilities. It is expected that the endocrine fellows pursuing this path will complete the MSCP over 3 years. The incoming fellows will be encouraged to complete the 6-week intensive training in outcomes research in July/August of their first year by enrolling into Summer Program in Outcomes Research (SPORT). This program includes 3 courses, two of which meet the MSCP course requirements, and 3 workshops one of which fulfills the requirement for elective MSCP course.
Preparation for Independent Research Careers
During the third and subsequent years, trainees gain additional experience which prepares them for independent research careers. An area of research is identified which will build on the expertise acquired by the trainee during the first two years of training, but allows the opportunity to develop some independence from the research preceptor. Senior fellows also take a more active role in teaching junior trainees. During this phase, the trainee is expected to develop preliminary data in an area which is substantially identified as his/her own to be able to compete effectively for a junior faculty position and independent research funding.