The ProSTAR Research Pathway was devised to provide enhanced opportunities in basic, clinical or health services research for residents interested in pursuing physician-investigator careers following clinical training. With its demanding schedule, residency training often disconnects residents from their research interests. However, ProSTAR seamlessly keeps residents engaged with their research goals.
Residents are accepted into the program during the first or second year of residency, and are provided multi-level mentorship from a faculty member and a fellow in the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program. ProSTAR participants are provided the opportunity to remain exposed to basic or clinical research via participation in monthly seminars with fellows in the STAR Program. Residents have the opportunity to use their 10-week elective time to engage in a number of research opportunities of their choice.
An important goal of the program is to provide the time and space for residents to explore their research interests, especially as it pertains to post-residency career choices (fellowship or post-doctoral training, or faculty position). Participants in ProSTAR will have the opportunity to remain connected to research, meet with faculty and fellows with similar research interests, and short rotations through clinical or basic labs, if they choose. ProSTAR participants also have access to educational enrichment funds to attend regional or national meetings. This opportunity is particularly rewarding as residents can interact with members of the larger academic community in their area of interest.
Residents are invited to monthly STAR seminars (journal clubs, research presentations, and symposia) and are required to attend at least four seminars per year (over the PGY 2 and 3 years). Monthly seminars/roundtable discussions include research presentations by fellows or visiting investigators, workshops on applying for a K award, techniques for writing grant proposals, and identifying research mentors.
A ProSTAR Research Pathway dinner for participants will also be held during the calendar year to provide a dedicated forum for participants to interact and share ideas.
ProSTAR participants are expected to meet research mentors at least twice an academic year. They are also to meet with their assigned STAR fellow mentor, and with a ProSTAR director at least once during that year. The ProSTAR directors will help the participant identify and explore research opportunities, and introduce them to potential research mentors. For those interested in subspecialty fellowship training, interacting with STAR fellow mentors can be particularly useful in devising a strategy for fellowship applications, including the UCLA STAR Program.
In the 10 available weeks for elective time, pathway participants may opt for short rotations in various labs or research groups. While the aim of these rotations is to expose the resident to research, they have the flexibility to dedicate these weeks to a carefully selected project. The elective time could also be used for clinical rotations, or a combination of clinical/research experiences.
Selected ProSTAR participants will also have the opportunity to present a poster of prior or current research at the STAR symposium, providing them the opportunity to interact with faculty and fellows from all divisions.
Linda L. Demer MD PhD
Mitchell D. Wong MD PhD
Olujimi A. Ajijola MD PhD
Fola May MD PhD
Tamer Sallam MD PhD
Questions about the ProSTAR/Research Pathway can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.