ABIM Research Pathway

About the Physician-Scientist Training Program 

The mission of the Vanderbilt University Internal Medicine Residency is to promote discovery of new biomedical knowledge and translation of this knowledge to patient care through the training and development of physician-scientists. The Vanderbilt Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) is strongly committed to the career development of physician-scientists who utilize the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway to facilitate combined clinical and research training. Training is enhanced by membership in the Harrison Society, a select peer group of physician-scientists in training that facilitates mentoring by Vanderbilt faculty and distinguished visiting professors.

Since 1999, the Vanderbilt PSTP has sought to recruit trainees who seek high quality clinical training,  a cutting edge research experience, and the opportunity to become a future leader in academic medicine.  Currently, 30 residents and fellows are enrolled in the program with 5-7 new trainees matriculated each year (53 alumni have completed the program since 1999). Our group has been geographically diverse representing 40 different U.S. medical schools from 24 states. 

Trainees complete two years of internal medicine residency and most pursue clinical fellowship training in medicine sub-specialties. This is typically followed by three years of either basic or clinical research training to qualify for board eligibility in Internal Medicine through the ABIM Research Pathway. During the research phase of their training, there is the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in one of three disciplines: Public Health, Clinical Investigation or Biomedical Informatics. Trainees engaged in translational or patient-oriented research may elect to pursue a Ph.D. during their residency or fellowship years as part of the Clinical Investigator Track of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP-CIT). Time spent earning advanced degrees is considered part of the research training period.

Research training may take place outside the Department of Medicine typically in one of Vanderbilt’s exceptional basic science departments or research centers. The PSTP offers a high level of flexibility in designing individual training programs. All trainees have a primary research mentor and receive frequent career counseling by the Program Director throughout their residency, fellowship and beyond.