In the spring of 2014, the UW-Madison Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) piloted a new course called Medicine 902: MSTP Physician Scientist Preceptorship in Clinical and Translational Research.

The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of how to conduct clinical research through an apprenticeship-style learning experience with a physician-scientist mentor. Throughout the course, students connect their research to the public health needs of the community and state of Wisconsin.

An instructor with a student

Medicine 902 is designed to be a key component of the Medical Scientist Training Program curriculum by continuing our mission to provide fully integrated medical and scientist training throughout the students’ years in the program. The research components of Medicine 902 also answer the recommendations of the NIH to continue research training for MSTP students during the clinical years, thereby increasing the competitiveness of our students to earn individual NIH fellowship (F30 NRSA) funding for the M3 and M4 years.

Finally, this course will prepare Medical Scientist Training Program students for the multi-tasking and outreach required as they develop careers as independent physician-scientists.

Medicine 902 is a clerkship offered to fourth-year MSTP students. The six-week rotation involves:

  • A preceptorship in which the student works closely with a mentor in an apprenticeship-style learning experience
  • Clinical experience integrated with other facets of a career as a physician-scientist
  • Learning about the regulatory process through attending IRB, Scientific Review Committee, and Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee meetings
  • An opportunity to conduct a research project and present the results in oral and written forms
  • A set of didactic lectures offered online from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) clinical research workshop series
  • Communication with community members and constituents about their public health concerns and needs
  • An assessment of public perceptions of clinical research and challenges to the implementation of the research project