The University of Minnesota MSTP has developed a specific program that integrates research discovery and clinical medicine during the graduate phase. The Clinical Continuity and Mentoring Program provides a foundation for success as an emerging physician scientist in our MSTP and has the following goals:
- To train physician scientists who possess superior skills in both the clinical subspecialty area and research area
- To maximize the credentials of our MSTP students for matching in top-tier academic, research-focused residencies and physician scientist training pathways
- To develop a longitudinal clinical experience for physician scientists that informs their research careers and clinical careers
- To develop longitudinal mentoring relationships with physician scientists in our University Community who care for patients and generate new knowledge through research
Beginning in the second year of the graduate phase, MSTP students complete a series of three clinical continuity experiences. For each experience, students select and work with a MSTP clinical mentor who will:
- Help the student maintain and develop clinical skills
- Integrate the student into the academic culture of the mentor’s clinical community
- Allow the student to observe the mentor in leadership activities
- Provide an opportunity to learn time management skills critical to success as a physician scientist
Students may elect to work with the same clinical mentor over multiple years or work with a different mentor each year.
The first two clinical continuity experiences (“Clinical Continuity Experience for Physician Scientists 1 and 2) consist of one-on-one meetings between the student and the Clinical Continuity mentor averaging one day per month during the calendar year. MSTP clinical mentors provide ongoing clinical experiences, teach clinical care skills, and expose the student to translational research questions that occur in the clinic. Meetings may involve any number of activities, including clinical rounds, attendance at a clinical translation conference, or interactions with other faculty to meet a specific pedagogic goal. During the first clinical continuity experience, students will prepare and present a MSTP Grand Rounds presentation. During the second clinical continuity experience, students submit a 1 page concept proposal in the form of an NIH Specific Aims page outlining a set of experiments to address a disease-based hypothesis.
The final clinical continuity experience (“Clinical Foundations for the Physician Scientist”) is completed prior to the student’s return to medical school and involves one-on-one meetings between the student and the MSTP clinical mentor in the clinic averaging one day per week for 9 weeks. The objectives of this experience are to provide an opportunity for students to 1) develop and refine patient evaluation and management skills, include H&P skills, patient write-ups, oral presentation, scientific basis of patient’s disease; and 2) learn to develop disease mechanism hypotheses help students: This hands-on clinical experience eases the transition from the graduate phase back to medical school.