Choosing a Preceptor and Project
The primary focus of the trainee's program is laboratory research. The participating laboratories have been chosen because they provide a rigorous research experience in Molecular and Cellular Biology in areas related directly to the cardiovascular system. It is the tradition of these laboratories that trainees carry out most of the experiments by themselves, independent of technicians. The primary goal of the training is to lay the groundwork for an independent career in basic investigation. The trainee is involved in an independent project in which he/she participates in all aspects of design and execution. It is important that the trainee's project be independent from other projects in the laboratory and that the trainee has an ongoing opportunity for important intellectual input into its design and development. The trainee is encouraged to develop expertise in a broad range of molecular and cellular biology techniques which will enable him/her to best answer the particular biologic question upon which the project is based. The trainee will have regular meetings with the preceptor and will be given multiple opportunities to present his/her research at laboratory seminars. An important part of the training program will be guidance in the preparation of manuscripts and in writing for independent research support.
The choice of preceptor and project are clearly most critical to the success of the individual training program. A Steering Committee meets with each prospective trainee and develops a research training program that includes choosing a laboratory and a preceptor. In addition each trainee meets with the Steering Committee every six months during the training program to assess progress. The preceptors included in the training program have been selected in part because they are outstanding scientists and in part because they have excellent records of training physician-scientists. If a trainee identifies a project with relevance to cardiovascular science in a laboratory not included in the program or outside of MSSM, he/she may petition the Steering Committee to pursue training in that laboratory.
The choice of a project is determined chiefly by discussion between the preceptor and the trainee. Progress is monitored routinely by the preceptor, through frequent contact and routine laboratory meetings. Progress is also monitored on a biannual basis by the Steering Committee. The trainee writes an annual report summarizing the year's progress. This is also reviewed by the Steering Committee.
The Division of Cardiology
The Mount Sinai Medical Center
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029-6574