Overview and Philosophy:
All fellows in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine are expected to be involved in mentored projects and scholarly pursuits during their training. Regardless of a fellow's career plans, participation in those activities is viewed as an essential part of your education by both our institution and the ACGME. Fellows must complete the mentored project requirements to be eligible to sit for ABIM examinations and to graduate.
Division faculty members are involved in a wide variety of research programs, both basic and clinical. Many of these projects involve close collaboration between the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and other clinical and basic science departments on campus and/or at other academic institutions throughout the Nation.
The program organizes an Annual Mini Research Retreat in January so faculty members can present their research projects to our trainees. This allows our fellows to become familiar with all the ongoing divisional research endeavors and meet potential mentors. It is anticipated that fellows will have identified a potential primary mentor by early spring of their first year. The mentor will be expected to supervise the fellow's research activity ensuring that benchmarks for progress are met. Fellows are expected to periodically report the status of their scholarly activities in the “research in progress” conference.
Training Tracks and Expectations:
The Clinical Scholar Track is designed for fellows who wish to pursue a career in academics with a focus on teaching and clinical care and for those who plan to enter private clinical practice. Fellows on this track will complete 22-30 months of clinical time and have 6-14 months protected for research. The additional clinical rotations should support the fellow's clinical interests and career plans. These electives should be planned early in the fellowship and in close collaboration with the Program Directors. Fellows on the Clinical Scholar Track are required to complete a research project (or a mentored Quality Improvement project) and at a minimum will be expected to present their work in the form of an abstract at a national meeting and to the Division in the third year. Alternatively, a published review paper in the area of investigation would fulfill the requirement for scholarly activities.
The Physician Scientist Track is designed for individuals who have an interest in pursuing an academic career focused on research. It is anticipated that the trainee will complete 18 months of clinical time and have 18 months to devote to research. During their dedicated research time fellows may pursue a masters level degree to support their career plans. This may be in the UAB School of Public Health or in the UAB Department of Physiology with whom the Division has training agreements. Fellows may pursue basic, translational or clinical research projects but each must be under the direction of an established mentor. It is expected that, at a minimum, the fellow will have a manuscript submitted for publication by the end of the three year training program and be prepared to apply for initial grant funding. Many fellows in this track may be eligible for further training under our NIH-funded T-32 Training Program in Lung Biology and Translational Medicine. Fellows on the Physician Scientist Track will present the background and rationale for their project to the Division during the second year and then present their results during Pulmonary Grand Rounds in the third year.