New York, NY – Dec. 15, 2000 – Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) has been selected to participate in the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program for Medical Students, which encourages medical students to pursue a career in clinical research by giving them a year off from their formal schooling to experience clinical research first hand.
P&S is one of seven participating schools that will receive $625,000 to support the program over five and a half years. Each year the participating schools will each enroll four medical students as fellows in their CRF programs. P&S has committed matching funds to support an additional two fellows per year. Funds will be used to provide stipends of $20,000 to support the six medical students during their fellowship year, and a $5,000 honorarium will go to each student’s mentor. In addition, a portion of the funds will be reserved to enable the fellows who have completed their fellowship to continue their research projects while they finish medical school, obtain clinical research training, and/or attend clinical research meetings.
“This is a wonderful opportunity that will provide medical students with invaluable training and experience in clinical research,” says Dr. Donald Landry, associate professor of medicine at P&S and program director for Columbia’s CRF program. “The pool of physician-scientists interested in pursuing careers in clinical research has been declining. At the same time, the demands on clinical researchers are increasing. We are grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for having the insight to foster programs that will encourage students to consider clinical research in its most sophisticated form as a career choice.” Dr. Landry will manage the program and ensure that fellows are matched with appropriate mentors.
Dr. Richard Sohn, director of grants and contracts at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, agrees with Dr. Landry’s assessment: “This program will not only have an impact on the students selected to participate in it, but the research these students conduct will have a direct application to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of disease from which we all benefit.”
The program defines clinical research as research in which the fellow or a colleague directly interacts with human subjects, such as research conducted with human subjects or material of human origin. Medical students in U.S. medical schools that have completed the major clinical year (usually the third year) before the start of the fellowship will be eligible to apply. P&S will distribute requests for applications in January 2001, and decisions will be made in the early spring. The first six fellows will begin their fellowship year on July 1, 2001.
Other institutions selected to participate in the CRF program are: University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
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