University of Iowa College of Medicine - Physician Scientist Training Pathway

From APSA Research Residency and Fellowship Program Database
Revision as of 17:48, 26 November 2018 by Csylve7 (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is dedicated to fostering the development of physician-scientists. A flagship initiative of the College is the Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP), a program focused on training the next generation of leaders in medicine and science. Perhaps unique among such programs, the PSTP spans eight clinical departments and offers exceptional clinical and scientific training to physician-scientists in fields from dematology to radiation oncology[1]. The PSTP encourages applications from all trainees interested in a physician-scientist career.

University of Iowa Physician Scientist Training Pathway
Specialty Multidisciplinary
Hospital affiliation(s)
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Iowa City VA Medical Center
Academic affiliation
University of Iowa
Director David Stoltz, MD, PhD
Director email
Associate director
Joel Kline, MD
Associate director email
Assistant director
Yatin Vyas, MBBS/MD
Assistant director email
Brenda Van Dee
Administrator email
Program email
Location Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America
Website University of Iowa PSTP
Telephone (319) 384-3101
NRMP Number
Varies by discipline

Program Description

The PSTP at the University of Iowa is a multidisciplinary, structured training pathway to facilitate the launch of an academic medical career for aspiring physician-scientists. Eight departments formally participate in the PSTP[1]:

  • Dermatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiation Oncology

Other departments may participate, and interested applicants should contact the program directors of those departments as well as the PSTP program director to discuss their interest. The PSTP, regardless of department, is designed for applicants with a significant history of scientific research. While primarily designed for those trainees who have completed an MD and a PhD, a PhD is not required so long as the applicant demonstrates a history of outstanding basic or clinical research experience.

No trainee is the same as another, and the PSTP is customized to fit each trainee's career goals and specialty training interests. The PSTP features optimized, short-track residency training in those specialties (e.g. Internal Medicine, Pediatrics) that support this option. All trainees receive personalized career mentorship, enhanced flexibility in clinical rotations and research training, dedicated research time, and supplemental funds for salary enhancement and academic expenses. The length of time to train varies depending on the specialty.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is the primary tertiary referral center for the state of Iowa and portions of surrounding states, providing a broad range of clinical cases across all disciplines of medicine and representing an ideal training environment regardless of clinical discipline. The University ranks among the top 50 institutions by NIH funding[2][3] and is the recipient of over $500 million in total research funding from all sources[4]. The clinical departments at the University of Iowa include many physician-scientists of national renown on their faculty, and several are in the top 25 (pediatrics), top 40 (medicine, neurology, psychiatry) and top 50 (OB/Gyn) in terms of NIH funding nationwide[2]. Major research initiatives include programs studying cystic fibrosis, cancer, ophthalmology, and bioinformatics. Outside of the lab and clinic, Iowa City is consistently atop the lists of best places to live, with cultural activities (befitting a UNESCO City of Literature), sports, livability, and affordability rivaling any other college town[4].

The PSTP has strong support from the leadership of the College of Medicine[5] and is a symbol of the dedication of the University of Iowa to advancing the science of human health and of training the next generation of leaders in academic medicine. Nearly 30 trainees have completed the pathway, and many are members of the faculty at leading universities nationwide. A testament to the strength of the University of Iowa, many have chosen to continue their careers at the University of Iowa, including a number of NIH career development award recipients. With over 20 trainees currently in the program, the PSTP is one of the largest such enterprises in the country.

For the specifics of each department's involvement in the PSTP, please visit the website of the department or contact the PSTP Program Director and the Program Director of the residency or fellowship program of interest. A few departments will be briefly highlighted here. In all departments, the training plan will be customized to the career goals and interests of the trainee.

Internal Medicine

The Internal Medicine PSTP (categorical NRMP 1203140C0) is primarily focused on a short-track, ABIM research pathway. In this program, trainees complete two years of internal medicine training, providing a solid foundation of Internal Medicine in a compressed time period. Subspecialty training for between 1 and 2 years, depending on the fellowship, then begins, followed by three years of protected research time. One half day of clinic per week occurs during the research period. Admission to the fellowship is guaranteed pending satisfactory clinical performance in residency.

Trainees can choose not to short track, although the program encourages short tracking to help streamline the return of trainees to research. Finally, other programs, such as the combined Internal Medicine-Psychiatry residency (NRMP code 1203715C0), are available to interested trainees in those fields. A total of 23 categorical residents per year are admitted to the residency program, 1-2 of which are typically PSTP trainees.


The Pediatrics residency (categorical NRMP 1203320C0) supports both the Integrated Research Pathway and the Accelerated Research Pathway. In the ARP, the timeline is similar to Internal Medicine, with two years of Pediatrics Residency, 1-2 years of subspecialty training, and three years of protected research time. The Integrated Research Pathway is available and offers with 11 months of research time, but PSTP trainees will undertake far more research during their protected research time. PSTP residents are also offered the opportunity for up to 20 weeks (5 blocks of 4 weeks) of research. The overall residency program accepts 15 categorical residents per year. Interested trainees should contact Yatin Vyas, MD, MBBS, Director of the Pediatrics PSTP.

The department is highly active in the science of pediatric diseases. One highlight is the University of Iowa Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA), an NIH-sponsored K12 career development award designed to support protected research time for physician-scientists in pediatrics. The program, established in 1990, has helped 40 junior faculty launch their careers[6].


The Department of Neurology has a long history of educational and scientific excellence and is the third oldest department of neurology in the US[7]. The department has created the Clinical Neuroscientist Program[8] within the Neurology residency program (NRMP 1203180C0), and these trainees also participate in the PSTP. The program has seen 1-3 residents enter per year in recent years, out of 8 residents in the overall program. The structure of the program includes 12 months of elective research time during the 48 month residency, where time is protected save for continuity clinic and call. Following clinical training, the program guarantees funding for up to two years of additional scientific research. Interested trainees should contact the education coordinator, Coronda Lee (, and the Associate Residency Director Kumar Narayanan, MD, PhD ( during the application process.


The Pathology residency training program (NRMP code 1203300C0) The program offers five positions per year and PSTP trainees may elect AP, CP, or AP and CP. While most trainees nationwide elect AP or CP, the PSTP does not mandate choosing one. The program consists of 3-4 years of pathology clinical training, 1 year of subspecialty fellowship training, and 1-3 years of research, during which a maximum of 25% clinical duties will be assigned. Subspecialty training is not mandated. Trainees may also elect to include six months of research interspersed with clinical training (e.g. 12 months clinical rotations - 6 months research - 18 months clinical rotations).


The Department of Psychiatry encourages physician-scientists interested in psychiatric diseases to consider the Psychiatry residency program (NRMP code 1203400C0) as well as the Internal Medicine-Psychiatry residency program (NRMP number 1203715C0), both of which support the PSTP. Trainees in the PSTP may elect up to three months of research time for each postgraduate year. The program also offers a research track[9], which includes multiple research electives, and whose members may be eligible to participate in the PSTP. The Psychiatry residency program is dedicated to tailoring the program to each trainee's needs and goals.

Radiation Oncology

The Radiation Oncology residency program (NRMP 1203430A0) supports the Holman Pathway of the American Board of Radiology. This pathway optimizes training to enable residents to fulfill core clinical requirements while bypassing some elective courses. Holman residents undertake 27 months of clinical training and 21 months of research training.

Application Process

Each department has its own admissions procedures, and applicants should visit the websites of the participating departments[1] for full details. For all departments, applicants should apply to the categorical residency program of their choice. They should concurrently submit the PSTP application and send a current CV to The program prefers to interview applicants to Internal Medicine, Pathology, and Pediatrics on specific dates[10], and other departments may have preferred dates as well. However, the program may be flexible if these dates are not available. The interview process will take place over a single day, with an extended interview day featuring a chance to interact with potential research mentors at the university. Applicants able to attend one of the two preferred interview dates will be invited to have dinner at the home of the PSTP Program Director and meet current trainees in the PSTP as well as program faculty.

Program Information

General Program Highlights

  • Number of protected research months: typically 2-3 years, but varies by program
  • Research Track Size: Over 20 current trainees across all programs
  • Separate NRMP Code for Research Pathway: No, select the categorical NRMP numbers for each program
  • Research Opportunities: Varies by program, but generally campus-wide
  • Benefits: Varies by program, but typically $4000 stipend per year for academic expenses such as books, travel, or research supplies; supplementary salary and other benefits may be available during the research years
  • Career Development Opportunities: The program sponsors a number of enrichment activities[11] designed to enhance career development


Iowa page 1 Iowa page 2

Contact Information


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 PSTP Participating Departments
  2. 2.0 2.1 BRIMR Research Funding Rankings
  3. Carver College of Medicine Research Facts
  4. 4.0 4.1 University of Iowa Rankings and Facts
  5. Vice President and Dean's Message on PSTP
  6. CHRCDA K12 Program
  7. About the Neurology Residency Program
  8. Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program
  9. Psychiatry Residency Research
  10. PSTP Admissions/Application
  11. PSTP Enrichment Activities