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Pathology

Resident Research Opportunities and Department of Pathology Physician Scholars Program

All residents are encouraged to participate in research projects during their residency training, and departmental funds are available to support research projects conducted by residents and their faculty mentors. These projects often result in poster or platform presentations at meetings such as USCAP, and typically also are reported in peer-reviewed publications in top pathology or general interest scientific journals. Compared to all residency programs in the USA and Canada, Stanford typically has among the largest number of resident presentations at the annual USCAP meeting. In recent years many of our residents have won awards for their original research at USCAP and other meetings. Faculty mentors for such research projects include members of the faculty in the Department of Pathology and from many other departments at the School of Medicine and University or in other parts of the University.

Department of Pathology Physician Scholars Program

The Department of Pathology Physician Scholars Program is a formal career development program for those residents preparing for a career in which the majority of her/his professional time (generally, 70% or more) will be devoted to extra-murally funded basic, translational or clinical research. Residents are selected for the Physician Scholars Program upon admission to the residency program. Such residents will be enrolled in the Stanford Society of Physician Scholars (see below) and are eligible for up to three years of salary support for postdoctoral research training after completion of their ACGME-approved residency and fellowship training. Applicants selected for the Physician Scholar Program typically enter the residency program with the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, and elect to train in AP only, CP only, or the AP/Neuropathology track. With the approval of the Chair of Pathology, admission to the Physician Scholar Program can be extended to qualified candidates who elect AP/CP training. Many trainees elect to exercise the option of completing a subspecialty fellowship after their basic residency training before beginning their period of postdoctoral research in the Physician Scholar Program.

For the period of postdoctoral research training, the resident, with the assistance of her/his mentor, is required to apply for outside funding support (e.g., NIH K08, etc.) for his/her salary and research, and is expected to secure such support as early as is feasible and certainly before the end of the third and final year of departmental salary support. However, until the external award is received, or if the external award does not provide salary support at the equivalent PGY level plus the standard housing benefit, then the Department will supplement the resident's salary to that level. In most cases, those seeking NIH K08 awards will be appointed to the academic rank of Instructor in the Department of Pathology, and will spend approximately 15-20% of their time in clinical activities in their specialty area as junior attending members of the faculty, during the period of postdoctoral research.

The Department will assist our residents in finding a suitable laboratory at Stanford for their research training; the director of this laboratory may be a faculty member in the Department of Pathology or any other department in the medical school. Indeed, the laboratory need not be in the School of Medicine. Stanford University has an outstanding School of Engineering, which, together with the School of Medicine, has established a Bioengineering Department. Stanford University also has outstanding Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Statistics in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Residents with research interests compatible with those of faculty in these programs can apply to such laboratories for their postdoctoral research training.

Stanford Society of Physician Scholars

Residents who have been selected for departmental support of postdoctoral research training after their residency (i.e., those in the department’s Physician Scholars Program) will be nominated by the Department for membership in the Stanford Society of Physician Scholars (SSPS). This program, launched in 2010, fosters the academic development of residents and clinical fellows, from clinical departments across the Stanford University School of Medicine, who wish to pursue a career in which the majority of their time will be devoted to extramurally-funded basic, translational or clinical research. The SSPS provides residents with a formal career development program that includes a seminar series, mentoring by successful physician-scholars and non-physician investigators, and the opportunity to mentor a Stanford medical student with interests complimentary to those of the resident-mentor. Members of the SSPS also participate in their departmentally-based research training program (the program for the Department of Pathology is described above). Visit the SPSS website for more information.

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