Training physician investigators in medicine and public health research

Department of Population Health, New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 05/2012; 102(7):e39-45. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300486
Source: PubMed


We have described and evaluated the impact of a unique fellowship program designed to train postdoctoral, physician fellows in research at the interface of medicine and public health.
We developed a rigorous curriculum in public health content and research methods and fostered linkages with research mentors and local public health agencies. Didactic training provided the foundation for fellows' mentored research initiatives, which addressed real-world challenges in advancing the health status of vulnerable urban populations.
Two multidisciplinary cohorts (6 per cohort) completed this 2-year degree-granting program and engaged in diverse public health research initiatives on topics such as improving pediatric care outcomes through health literacy interventions, reducing hospital readmission rates among urban poor with multiple comorbidities, increasing cancer screening uptake, and broadening the reach of addiction screening and intervention. The majority of fellows (10/12) published their fellowship work and currently have a career focused in public health-related research or practice (9/12).
A fellowship training program can prepare physician investigators for research careers that bridge the divide between medicine and public health.

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