Research and Scholarly Activity
The ability to engage in scholarly activity is an integral component of a successful academic career. Scholarly activity takes many forms including:
- Quality Improvement Projects
- Development of clinical protocols
- Design of new curriculum
- Writing book chapters
- Writing review articles
- Participating in peer review of articles written by others and submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals (reviewing articles prior to publication)
- Critical review of published articles and the writing of a synopsis for others (e.g. PC-FACS, various blogs (Pallimed, GeriPal)) (reviewing articles after publication)
- Independent research
At the beginning of the academic year, fellows are asked to identify their level of interest in each of the above activities. This allows palliative care faculty to then involve fellows in projects on which they are currently working or begin to work on during the course of the year.
All fellows, regardless of career trajectory, spend at least four weeks dedicated to scholarly activity. Having this time during the clinical year allows fellows to integrate academic activities with their clinical duties and allows them to begin scholarly writings, such as review papers and textbook chapters. For fellows considering a research career or who will be completing a research track during their training at Mount Sinai, these research blocks allow them to begin collaborating with mentors throughout the medical center.
Clinician Research Training Program (CRTP)
Fellows interested in a career as a clinical investigator may apply to Mount Sinai’s Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP). This is a competitive program that selects 12 fellows and/or junior faculty members to participate in a course of intensive training in clinical research consisting of didactic seminars and mentored research. The curriculum of this program is shown below.
|Sept. - Dec.||Jan - March||April - June|
|Course (hours per week)||Course (hours per week)||Course (hours per week)|
|Clinical Research and Policy Evaluation (2.0)||Introduction to Informatics (1.5)||Culture, Illness, and Community Health (1.5)|
|Ethical Issues in Clinical Research (1.0)||Genetic Medicine (1)||Behavioral Medicine (1.0)|
|Epidemiology and Biostatistics (1.5)||Multivariable Methods (1.25)||Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine (Elective) (1.5)|
|Introduction to Data Management (1.0)||Basic Science for the Clinical Investigator (1.0)|
|Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine (Elective) (1.5)||Computer Lab for Multivariable Methods (1.0)|
The CRTP program offers either a certificate or a Master of Science in Clinical Research with additional coursework. Fellows begin the CRTP curriculum during their palliative medicine clinical year and can stay at Mount Sinai for one additional year to begin their research career and obtain their master's degree. Interested fellows meet with the Program Director prior to the application deadline for the CRTP program to begin exploring their research interests, to develop a suitable research project, to identify an appropriate research mentor, and to prepare an application to the CRTP program.
Fellows refine their analytic and research skills in a monthly seminar devoted to an evidence-based journal club and a research in progress meeting. These seminars allow fellows to critically examine published research and provide a forum for fellows to present their ongoing research, including problems that may arise, and to discuss statistical and analytic issues related to their research. This seminar focuses several sessions on preparing research for presentation and publication.
Fellows with a career interest in academic research who choose to stay for an additional research year develop a research project as described above and identify a research mentor. The mentor and program leadership assist the fellow in the project during the period which is allocated for research. Fellows work with their mentors to conceptualize and design their project in concert with their didactic class work. By the completion of the penultimate year of training, fellows are expected to have completed their project proposal and received IRB approval in order to begin collecting data during the research year. Thus, the year of research time is exclusively devoted to data collection, analysis, and preparation for presentation and publication. The goals of the protected research time include: to allow fellows to develop the knowledge and skills to design and conduct a successful research project, to gain experience in the conduct of an actual study with the assistance of a senior mentor, to present and publish the results, and to develop pilot data for a subsequent project proposal to an appropriate funding agency.