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Training the Next Generation of Pediatric Scientists

The Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) provides intensive training in research relevant to specialty areas of pediatrics. The goal is to prepare entry-level faculty for research careers in academic pediatrics. Physicians presently in pediatric training programs who wish to train in basic, translational, clinical, or health services research with an established investigator/mentor are encouraged to apply. A commitment to an investigative academic career is essential.

Candidates completing the PSDP are eligible for sub-specialty boards because PSDP training typically takes place after the completion of the clinical fellowship year(s). Support includes salary, fringe benefits, and research training expenses. The active involvement and support of Pediatric Department Chairs in the nomination/application process, and career development of PSDP scholars, are essential to the program’s success.

History of our Program

AMSPDC TASK FORCE 1984-1986

In response to a growing concern on the part of its membership, The Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs Inc. (AMSPDC) established a task force in early 1984 to examine the perceived shortage of trained pediatric scientists. The number of physicians receiving postdoctoral research training was diminishing. Even more ominous was the decline in the number of young academic physicians, trained in research, who received an NIH Individual Research Grant (R01) and were qualified for positions in academic pediatric departments.

The task force undertook an in-depth study of the reasons contributing to the lack of physician investigators who were competent in basic research after completion of pediatric residency and fellowship training. While the task force recognized that no single explanation sufficed, it identified postdoctoral research training as a critical period of career development for academic scientists in pediatrics.

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