Clinical Investigator Track
The Department of Medicine has a partnership with the Department of Public Health Sciences that allows one upper-level resident to obtain a department-sponsored Master of Science in Clinical Research degree. Residents chosen for the Clinical Investigator (CI) Track complete a one year accelerated master’s degree program (31 credits) during their PGY-2 year, while maintaining their continuity clinic responsibilities. Interested applicants must take the In-Service Training Exam as a PGY-1 and score in the 50th percentile to be eligible for application to this program.
The Master of Science in Clinical Research (MS-CR) program provides training to healthcare professionals who want to develop quantitative and analytic skills in patient-oriented and translational research, as well as more traditional clinical investigation. Using an interdisciplinary blend of biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical trial design, medical informatics, and health services research, the MS-CR program equips clinical researchers with the statistical and data management tools needed to conduct comparative effectiveness studies in medical care. There are also additional training opportunities for students interested in quality improvement, healthcare administration, medical economics, and community health. The coursework is taught by faculty in the Department of Public Health Sciences in collaboration with other faculty in the UVA Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Arts and Sciences, Business, and Law.
The Clinical Investigator (CI) Track is an excellent opportunity to gain a formal education in medical research and clinical trial design. Furthermore, it lays the groundwork for a career in academic medicine. In the CI track, I benefited from protected research time with faculty mentors, a well-integrated curriculum in statistics and epidemiology, and great continuity in my clinical training. One of my favorite classes was PHS 7120 Theory and Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology, during which we designed clinical trials and conducted a mock NIH grant review that was judged by our classmates. I also enjoyed learning how to use research tools such as SAS, SQL, RevMan, and Tableau. With this education, I feel empowered and well-equipped to pursue new research endeavors. I highly recommend this unique opportunity to any applicant passionate about academic medicine.
Jonathan is now a Cardiology fellow at UVA
I can’t say enough good things about the clinical investigator track. It truly is a unique program to UVA. I was given the opportunity to complete a Masters in Clinical Investigation during the second year of residency, without extending my training. Because of the masters, I now have a better understanding of study design, statistical analysis, and writing grants. In addition, there is protected time during the track, to complete several research projects. Because of the knowledge I gained during my masters, I was able to ask a study question, design the research project, and complete the analysis. I then had the opportunity to present my findings at several national conferences. Because of this track, I now feel equipped to pursue an academic and research career in Cardiology.
Sthuthi is now a Cardiology fellow at UCLA
The clinical investigator (CI) track has given me the skills, experience, and mentorship necessary to pursue academic medicine after residency. As part of the CI track, I studied epidemiology, statistics, and database management to obtain a Masters in Clinical Research. I applied these skills to design and execute several clinical research projects. These projects included an examination of a cell biomarker in interstitial lung disease, a study of self-reported symptom severity in chronic obstructive lung disease, and an analysis of factors leading to poor outcomes for patients in the MICU. Through the CI track, these research projects and my career development were supported by the entire Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine. For these reasons, I highly recommend UVA’s CI track to any prospective internal medicine candidate interested in research and academic medicine.
John is now a Pulmonary Critical Care fellow at University of Colorado
The Clinical Investigator track is one of the many aspects of UVA’s program that drew me here. UVA’s internal medicine program does an incredible job of encouraging and enabling residents to pursue their particular interests within the field of medicine, and the CI track is prime example of this priority. For me, I was excited to learn how to design and execute clinical research as a resident alongside my clinical training. The CI track is highly unique in facilitating this process at the resident level. The track provides protected time to complete a Masters-level curriculum in clinical research with courses including epidemiology, database design, bio-statistics, grant writing, healthcare economics, and clinical trial design, among others. This training is interwoven into the clinical responsibilities of second year residency and has been critical in my development of research projects throughout residency. Through this curriculum and the dedicated mentorship of attendings, the CI track has enabled me to lead projects from inception to statistical analysis to manuscript composition. I’m certainly grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this track within such a supportive program environment! Moving forward, I am excited to utilize these skills as I aim to build a career in academic medicine, blending clinical and research endeavors.
Anthony is now a Cardiology fellow at Duke
The Clinical Investigator Track provided me an opportunity to do research with faculty while pursuing a graduate degree and continuing my clinical training. The education I received in statistics, epidemiology, study design, and health policy has been essential in preparing me for a career in academic medicine. Only a small number of internal medicine programs have an option similar to our clinical investigator track and I think it highlights another way that the UVA Internal Medicine program is a great place to train and learn. The skills I have learned from the CI track have enabled me to work on a variety of research and quality improvement projects. I plan to use these experiences to build a career in academic medicine.
Andrew is now a Pulmonary Critical Care attending at UVA