The mainstream application of massively parallel, high-throughput assays in
biomedical research has created a demand for scientists educated in
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB). In response, formalized graduate
programs have rapidly evolved over the past decade. Concurrently, there is
increasing need for clinicians trained to oversee the responsible translation of
CBB research into clinical tools. Physician-scientists with dedicated CBB
training can facilitate such translation, positioning themselves at the
intersection between computational biomedical research and medicine. This
perspective explores key elements of the educational path to such a position,
specifically addressing: 1) evolving perceptions of the role of the
computational biologist and the impact on training and career opportunities; 2)
challenges in and strategies for obtaining the core skill set required of a
biomedical researcher in a computational world; and 3) how the combination of
CBB with medical training provides a logical foundation for a career in academic
medicine and/or biomedical research.
computational biology; bioinformatics; graduate education; MD/PhD
The authors developed mentorship programs to train minority junior faculty and advanced graduate students in mental health services research.
The programs target “mentees” in the Southwest United States and offer long-term mentoring, seminars, group supervision, seed funding for peer reviewed research proposals, peer interaction, and weeklong institutes that feature presentations and mentoring by recognized experts.
Evaluations suggest that these programs have influenced participants’ career development. Most mentees have continued to evolve in their research careers, submitted research grant applications, and obtained postdoctoral fellowships, and/or have advanced in faculty positions. Some mentees have expressed an opinion that without the support network that these programs provided, they would have abandoned their academic careers.
Future training efforts should take into account a series of challenges and tensions that affect mentees’ careers and personal lives, including the emotional legacy of discrimination and historical trauma.
Data management and integration are complicated and ongoing problems that will require commitment of resources and expertise from the various biological science communities. Primary components of successful cross-scale integration are smooth information management and migration from one context to another. We call for a broadening of the definition of bioinformatics and bioinformatics training to span biological disciplines and biological scales. Training programs are needed that educate a new kind of informatics professional, Biological Information Specialists, to work in collaboration with various discipline-specific research personnel. Biological Information Specialists are an extension of the informationist movement that began within library and information science (LIS) over 30 years ago as a professional position to fill a gap in clinical medicine. These professionals will help advance science by improving access to scientific information and by freeing scientists who are not interested in data management to concentrate on their science.
Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) is a project designed to reconfigure postgraduate medical education throughout the United Kingdom. It is proposed that all UK medical school graduates undertake a 2 year foundation programme to build basic professional skills to which specialist training can be added. Implicit in these proposals is that career choices need to be made at a relatively early phase of training. In the case of emergency medicine, a common stem of training in emergency and critical care is being proposed which would be suitable early training for potential specialists in emergency medicine, anaesthesia, intensive care, and acute medicine. In both foundation training and higher specialist training, the trainee should have the skills of a self directing, reflective learner and the trainer the skills required to produce a good learning environment with a supportive and open atmosphere and learning structured to maximise the opportunities for experiential learning in the workplace.
medical education; Modernising Medical Careers; postgraduate
Changing priorities in the NHS have underlined the crucial importance of academic general practice in providing quality training and research to underpin developments in general practice. Unfortunately, several problems and constraints mean that the full potential of general practitioners to make a contribution to teaching and research has not been realised. These issues are examined and recommendations for improvements are made. Obstacles to career development for academics in general practice should be removed. The funding of academic general practice should be the same as for other medical disciplines. Vocational training for general practice should be extended to include research and audit methods, particularly for doctors interested in an academic career. Above all, the long term objective should be to integrate undergraduate and post-graduate general practice to increase the overall effectiveness of teaching and research and hence the quality of service general practice.
A large gap presently exists between the predominantly biologic expertise of the medical profession and the complex mixture of biologic, behavioural and epidemiologic components of health problems today. Furthermore, the development of community medicine in Canada has been relatively separate from that of the clinical disciplines. To enable clinicians to acquire the knowledge and skills to manage these health problems, much more community-oriented research, applied behavioural science and clinical epidemiology is needed within the clinical sector of medicine. I have proposed a definition of clinical community medicine and presented a strategy for training clinicians in community medicine skills that calls for administrators of clinical postgraduate programs to develop training in clinical community medicine. Residency programs in community medicine cannot be expected to provide such training given their nonclinical priorities, which focus mainly on the training of public health physicians.
For the past 12 years the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Kentucky has run an interdisciplinary neuroscience research experience for undergraduates. Over the years the programs funding sources and participant numbers have steadily increased, to a total of 16 undergraduates in the summer of 2003, supported with internal funds, state funds, and a Research Experience for Undergraduates site grant from the National Science Foundation. The goals of the UK summer research program include: 1) provide an interactive environment for faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars where undergraduates from non-tier one research universities are exposed to the many facets of a graduate career, 2) inform undergraduate students of the career opportunities available in the field of neuroscience, 3) increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities, first generation college students and students from non-tier-1 colleges and universities admitted to graduate programs in the biomedical sciences, and 4) immerse undergraduate students in a research project of their own choosing in departmental and non-departmental faculty laboratories that cover a wide range of neuroscience research. Student placement in academic medicine graduate programs, student satisfaction surveys, return students, high numbers of women and minority participants, and an ever-increasing national interest in the program are all indicators of the programs success.
undergraduate; interdisciplinary neuroscience; research experience for undergraduates; summer program; academic-medicine
The highly interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics has emerged as a powerful
modern science. There has been a great demand for undergraduate- and
graduate-level trained bioinformaticists in the industry as well in the
academia. In order to address the needs for trained bioinformaticists, its
curriculum must be offered at the undergraduate level, especially at four-year
colleges, where a majority of the United States gets its education. There are
many challenges in developing an undergraduate-level bioinformatics program that
needs to be carefully designed as a well-integrated and cohesive
interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares the students for a wide variety of
career options. This article describes the challenges of establishing a highly
interdisciplinary undergraduate major, the development of an undergraduate
bioinformatics degree program at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and lessons
learned in the last 10 years during its management.
bioinformatics; genomics; undergraduate education; undergraduate curriculum
Postdoctoral training is vital to a successful career for nurse researchers with a biological or biobehavioral focus. Such training provides structured time to devote to gaining substantive knowledge, expanding one’s biological-methods repertoire, and writing grants. However, for unknown reasons, relatively few nurses pursue postdoctoral training. A few plausible explanations include a near critical shortage of nursing faculty coupled with an aging population in need of health care, a lack of available mentoring for predoctoral students to pursue postdoctoral training, and the difficulty of navigating the process of finding and choosing the right match for a postdoctoral experience. The purposes of this article are to provide a rationale for choosing postdoctoral training, review common fellowship opportunities, and discuss the process of finding and choosing the right match for postdoctoral training. The authors provide two prospective plans for postdoctoral training and include a plan for staying on track during the postdoctoral experience.
postdoctoral; research training; biobehavioral
To discuss the literature regarding educational program ranking and to provide insights concerning undergraduate and graduate athletic training education ranking systems.
The demand for accountability and the need to evaluate the quality of educational programs have led to program ranking in many academic disciplines. As athletic training becomes more recognized within the medical community, determining a program's quality will become increasingly important.
We describe program rankings used in other disciplines for determining quality and providing measures of accountability. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both subjective and objective ranking systems, as well as the arguments for using program rankings in athletic training. Future directions for program ranking and potential research questions are suggested.
Ranking systems on the basis of levels of perceived quality and academic productivity of programs that prepare future professionals will help potential undergraduate and graduate students make informed decisions when selecting an educational program.
graduate program ranking; undergraduate program ranking; prestige ranking; productivity ranking
The authors describe the evolution of a novel national training program to develop minority faculty for mental health services research careers. Recruiting, training, and sustaining minority health professionals for academic research careers in mental health services research have proven challenging.
Over the past 8 years the authors developed NIMH-funded programs to educate, train, and mentor minority psychiatrists and other junior faculty and graduate and post-graduate students. Their areas of academic interest focus primarily on minority mental health issues in primary care and community settings.
The authors began with a program that targeted local trainees from the University of New Mexico and expanded to regional and national programs offering weeklong institutes, onsite and distance mentoring by experts, and supportive peer interactions that addressed the considerable challenges affecting trainee career decisions and paths.
Early outcomes support the value of these programs.
In this report, the authors compare and contrast medical informatics (MI) and bioinformatics (BI) and provide a viewpoint on their complementarities and potential for collaboration in various subfields. The authors compare MI and BI along several dimensions, including: (1) historical development of the disciplines, (2) their scientific foundations, (3) data quality and analysis, (4) integration of knowledge and databases, (5) informatics tools to support practice, (6) informatics methods to support research (signal processing, imaging and vision, and computational modeling, (7) professional and patient continuing education, and (8) education and training. It is pointed out that, while the two disciplines differ in their histories, scientific foundations, and methodologic approaches to research in various areas, they nevertheless share methods and tools, which provides a basis for exchange of experience in their different applications. MI expertise in developing health care applications and the strength of BI in biological “discovery science” complement each other well. The new field of biomedical informatics (BMI) holds great promise for developing informatics methods that will be crucial in the development of genomic medicine. The future of BMI will be influenced strongly by whether significant advances in clinical practice and biomedical research come about from separate efforts in MI and BI, or from emerging, hybrid informatics subdisciplines at their interface.
This paper presents a narrative summary of an increasingly important trend in medical education by addressing the merits of community-based distributive medical education (CBDME). This is a relatively new and compelling model for teaching and training physicians in a manner that may better meet societal needs and expectations. Issues and trends regarding the growing shortage and imbalanced distribution of physicians in the USA are addressed, including the role of international medical graduates. A historical overview of costs and funding sources for medical education is presented, as well as initiatives to increase the training and placement of physicians cost-effectively through new and expanded medical schools, two- and four-year regional or branch campuses and CBDME. Our research confirms that although medical schools have responded to Association of American Medical Colleges calls for higher student enrollment and societal concerns about the distribution and placement of physicians, significant opportunities for improvement remain. Finally, the authors recommend further research be conducted to guide policy on incentives for physicians to locate in underserved communities, and determine the cost-effectiveness of the CBDME model in both the near and long terms.
issues and trends; cost-effective medical education; distributive medical education model; community-based; organizational model
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) require instruction in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) as a component of any Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The Educational Materials Group of the NIH CTSA Consortium’s Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee (CRE-KFC) conducted a survey of the 38 institutions that held CTSA funding as of January 2009 to determine how they satisfy RCR training requirements. An 8-item questionnaire was sent by email to directors of the Clinical Research Ethics, the Educational and Career Development, and the Regulatory Knowledge cores. We received 78 completed surveys from 38 CTSAs (100%). We found that there is no unified approach to RCR training across CTSAs, many programs lack a coherent plan for RCR instruction, and most CTSAs have not develop unique instructional materials tailored to the needs of clinical and translational scientists. We recommend collaboration among CTSAs and across CTSA key function committees to address these weaknesses. We also requested that institutions send electronic copies of original RCR training materials to share among CTSAs via the CTSpedia website. Twenty institutions submitted at least 1 educational product. The CTSpedia now contains more than 90 RCR resources.
Responsible conduct of research; research integrity; research training
Health research is critical to the institutional mission of the Makerere College of Health Sciences (MakCHS). Optimizing the alignment of health research capacity at MakCHS with the health needs and priorities of Uganda, as outlined in the country’s Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP), is a deliberate priority, a responsibility, and a significant opportunity for research. To guide this strategic direction, an assessment of MakCHS’s research grants and publication portfolio was conducted.
A survey of all new and ongoing grants, as well as all publications, between January 2005 and December 2009 was conducted. Research, training, and education grants awarded to MakCHS’ constituent faculties and departments, were looked for through financial records at the college or by contact with funding organizations. Published manuscripts registered with PubMed, that included MakCHS faculty authors, were also analyzed.
A total of 58 active grants were identified, of which 18 had been initiated prior to 2005 and there were an average of about eight new grants per year. Most grants funded basic and applied research, with major focus areas being HIV/AIDS (44%), malaria (19%), maternal and child health (14%), tuberculosis (11%), mental health (3%), and others (8%). MakCHS faculty were identified as Principal Investigators (PIs) in only 22 (38%) active grants. Grant funding details were only available for one third of the active grants at MakCHS. A total of 837 publications were identified, with an average of 167 publications per year, most of which (66%) addressed the country’s priority health areas, and 58% had MakCHS faculty or students as first authors.
The research grants and publications at MakCHS are generally well-aligned with the Ugandan Health Ministry priorities. Greater efforts to establish centralized and efficient grants management procedures are needed. In addition, greater efforts are needed to expand capacity for MakCHS faculty leadership of grants, as well as to continue to expand the contribution of MakCHS faculty to lead research publications.
For over three decades, the scientific community has expressed concern over the paucity of African American, Latino and Native American researchers in the biomedical training pipeline. Concern has been expressed regarding what is forecasted as a shortage of these underrepresented minority (URM) scientists given the demographic shifts occurring worldwide and particularly in the United States. Increased access to graduate education has made a positive contribution in addressing this disparity. This article describes the multiple pathway approaches that have been employed by a school of medicine at an urban Midwest research institution to increase the number of URM students enrolled in, and graduating from, doctoral programs within basic science departments, through the combination of R25 grants and other grant programs funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This article outlines the process of implementing a strong synergistic approach to the training of URM students through linkages between the NIH-funded “Bridges to the Doctorate (BRIDGES)” and “Initiative for Maximizing Graduate Student Diversity (IMGSD)” programs. The article documents the specific gains witnessed by this particular institution and identifies key components of the interventions that may prove useful for institutions seeking to increment the biomedical pipeline with scientists from diverse backgrounds.
minorities; pipeline; biomedical; education; training
Few, if any, educational interventions intended to increase underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students in biological and behavioral sciences are informed by theory and research on career persistence. Training and Education to Advance Minority Scholars in Science (TEAM-Science) is a program funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with the twin goals of increasing the number of URM students entering and completing a PhD in BBS and increasing the number of these students who pursue academic careers. A framework for career development in graduate research training is proposed using social cognitive career theory. Based on this framework, TEAM-Science has five core components: 1) mentor training for the research advisor, 2) eight consensus-derived fundamental competencies required for a successful academic career, 3) career coaching by a senior faculty member, 4) an individualized career development plan that aligns students’ activities with the eight fundamental competencies, and 5) a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats personal career analysis. This paper describes the theoretical framework used to guide development of these components, the research and evaluation plan, and early experience implementing the program. We discuss the potential of this framework to increase desired career outcomes for URM graduate trainees in mentored research programs and, thereby, strengthen the effectiveness of such interventions on participants’ career behaviors.
While oral health disparities exist in many ethnic groups in Hawaii, the challenge of developing research and intervention programs is hampered by the lack of a dental school and adequate state resources.
To use a collaboration model to establish a mentoring relationship with a research-intensive school of dentistry to reduce oral health disparities in Hawaii.
Collaborative interactions with the University of Hawaii School of Medicine (UH) and the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry at Chapel Hill (UNC) included bimonthly teleconferences, on-site planning and mentoring sessions, yearly conferences in Hawaii open to the community using UNC faculty, and on-site skills training sessions. The community was asked to participate in determining priorities for research through focus-group interactions. Two pilot investigations were also conducted.
Both universities have been awarded grants to fund activities to support the combined intellectual and physical resources of multiple private, public, and community organizations to achieve the goal of improving the oral health status of the people of Hawaii. As a result of initial planning, two related grants have been submitted (one approved, one disapproved) to fund pilot studies on the oral health status of mothers and their babies in a rural community. These studies include both UH and UNC investigators.
Health disparities occur among diverse ethnic groups in Hawaii, and links between general health and oral health continue to emerge. In spite of obstacles to designing effective research and intervention programs in Hawaii, UH fostered a collaborative relationship with a premiere dental research institution to develop competence in clinical research, conduct pilot studies, and obtain extramural funding for comprehensive studies. Direct involvement of community representatives in the research process is integral to the success of such studies and will continue to serve as the foundation of our community-based participatory research. The network partners have accomplished their primary goal of developing culturally appropriate methods for assessing determinants of oral health, oral health-related quality of life, and health outcomes in Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Collaborative Research; Asians and Pacific Islanders; Hawaii; Oral Health Disparities; Interdisciplinary Research Network
Objective: To provide an overview of the limited amount of peer-reviewed literature on athletic training education that has been published in athletic training journals. Publications that related specifically to the development of evaluation tools or specific addenda to the required athletic training curriculum were not included.
Background: As education reform continues to unfold in athletic training, it is important for all certified athletic trainers to understand the research that undergirds the educational practices in athletic training. Many of the profession's educational practices have been taken from standards and methods developed by the discipline of education, with very little validation for applicability to the discipline of athletic training. A very limited number of comprehensive scientific investigations of the educational standards and practices in athletic training education have been carried out; however, for more research to be conducted, it is essential that the currently available research be reviewed.
Description: The summaries of athletic training educational research in this article include the topics of learning styles, facilitation of learning and professional development, instructional methods, clinical instruction and supervision, predictors of success on the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification certification examination, program administration, and continuing education. The amount of research in athletic training education is limited when compared with the amount and quality of educational research available in other professions, such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. In this article, I attempt to describe the existing literature and identify what is needed to expand the breadth and depth of research in athletic training education.
Clinical Advantages: This article is intended to help educators identify areas within athletic training education that require further validation and to provide both educators and clinicians with insight into the current validated educational practices that may be appropriate to incorporate into educational settings or practice.
learning styles; professional development; instructional methods; clinical instruction; clinical supervision; predictors of success; administration; continuing education
The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) were initiated to improve the conduct and impact of NIH's research portfolio, transforming training programs and research infrastructure at academic institutions and creating a nationwide consortium. They provide a model for translating research across disciplines and offer an efficient and powerful platform for comparative effectiveness research (CER), an effort that has long struggled but enjoys renewed hope under health care reform. CTSAs include study design and methods expertise, informatics, and regulatory support; programs in education, training, and career development in domains central to CER; and robust programs in community engagement, both of the general public and of clinical practice communities.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center have entered a formal partnership that places their CTSA at a critical intersection for clinical and translational research. Their CTSA leaders were asked to develop a strategy for enhancing CER activities, and in 2010 they developed a model that encompasses four broadly defined “compartments” of research strength that must be coordinated for this enterprise to succeed: evaluation and health services research, biobehavioral research and prevention, efficacy studies and clinical trials, and social science and implementation research.
This article provides historical context for CER, elucidates Einstein-Montefiore’s CER model and strategic planning efforts, and illustrates how a CTSA can provide a vision, leadership, coordination, and services to support an academic health center’s collaborative efforts to develop a robust CER portfolio and thus contribute to the national effort to improve health and health care.
Global commerce, travel, and emerging and resurging infectious diseases have increased awareness of global health threats and opportunities for collaborative and service learning. We review course materials, knowledge archives, data management archives, and student evaluations for the first 10 years of an intensive summer field course in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance offered in Jamaica. We have trained 300 students from 28 countries through collaboration between the University of the West Indies and U.S. partner universities. Participants were primarily graduate students in public health, but also included health professionals with terminal degrees, and public health nurses and inspectors. Strong institutional synergies, committed faculty, an emphasis on scientific and cultural competencies, and use of team-based field research projects culminate in a unique training environment that provides participants with career-developing experiences. We share lessons learned over the past decade, and conclude that South-to-North leadership is critical in shaping transdisciplinary, cross-cultural, global health practice.
Annual review of specialist registrars and production of a record of
in-training assessment (RITA) is a mandatory component of training that has
attracted criticism. Mersey Deanery has established a system of review that
includes wider evaluation of the trainee's needs and of training requirements.
We conducted a survey to ascertain whether this broadened review process was
thought beneficial. In one year 1093 questionnaires were distributed to
trainees and trainers.
605 (81%) of 744 trainees and 309 (89%) of 349 trainers responded. At least
89% of both groups said that the procedure had been effective in reviewing the
previous year and the most recent post and in identifying training
requirements. More than 90% rated the overall process positively. Trainees
particularly appreciated the advice on future training, on careers and on
This form of review is expensive in consultant time but was valued by both
trainees and trainers.
The purpose of this community-based participatory research was to compare different training sources for adolescents’ menstrual health education.
From 15 middle schools in Tehran, through quota random sampling, 1823 female students were selected proportionally and allocated randomly to three groups (parent trained, schools’ health trainers trained, and control). Following a two-year training program, the adolescents’ menstrual health was compared.
In the present study, the school health trainers trained group showed a better feeling for menarche, compared to the two other groups (P < 0.001). The need for adolescent health training was emphasized by 82% of the participants; they also believed that the appropriate age for such empowerment courses was about 12 years. In the school health trainers trained group, the offered age was significantly lower than in other groups (P < 0.001). The adolescents trained by the school health trainers had a better practice of habits related to menstrual and hygiene practices, like having a bath during menstruation and the use of sanitary pads or cotton, compared to their counterpart groups (P > 0.05).
It is suggested that school-based health training leads to better menstrual health promotion and healthy puberty transition, and school health trainers play a key role in this regard.
Adolescents; health; menstrual
Rapid training of health care staff was followed by lower death rates.
When epidemic cholera appeared in Haiti in October 2010, the medical community there had virtually no experience with the disease and needed rapid training as the epidemic spread throughout the country. We developed a set of training materials specific to Haiti and launched a cascading training effort. Through a training-of-trainers course in November 14–15, 2010, and department-level training conducted in French and Creole over the following 3 weeks, 521 persons were trained and equipped to further train staff at the institutions where they worked. After the training, the hospitalized cholera patients’ case-fatality rate dropped from 4% to <2% by mid-December and was <1% by January 2011. Continuing in-service training, monitoring and evaluation, and integration of cholera management into regular clinical training will help sustain this success.
enteric infections; waterborne infections; Cholera; clinical training; Haiti; epidemic response; online resources; train-the-trainer; training of trainers; disease management
The Regional Training Centres (RTCs) have established a new, non-traditional model of applied health services research training. Graduates report that the programs provide an academic “home” where they can pursue their health and nursing services research interests while engaging with decision-makers. This discussion paper shares perspectives from eight RTC graduates about their lives and careers at the interface of applied health and nursing services research, policy and decision-making, in particular, training in a novel graduate program, building lasting connections among researchers, policy makers and managers and acting as liaisons among these communities. Graduates cite their exclusive access to a health services and policy network as an enticing feature of their training experience. They have forged careers that require work in both the research and decision-making realms, and clearly prefer having “a foot in both camps.”