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Research Training

A pulmonary and critical care fellow conducts bench research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

Mayo Clinic's Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine provides ample opportunities for research in laboratory-based, translational, clinical, and educational research for fellows. The division includes 63 faculty members, including two Ph.D. basic scientists, who diagnose, treat, and scientifically study various pulmonary, critical care, and sleep diseases.

Research pathways

There are several research pathways available to you:

Traditional 1-year track

All fellows participate in 12 months of research activity during their fellowship training. The program moved a month of this research block to the first year, and this has significantly improved the academic accomplishments of the fellows.

The fellows have plenty of opportunities to participate in a research project either through an established funded research program within one of the basic science laboratories in the Thoracic Diseases Research Unit or the Pulmonary Clinical Research Unit or by formulating an innovative research program that is different from the routine path.

Fellows may pursue a basic science, translational, or clinical project during the research year. Innovative ideas are encouraged.

Clinician-investigator pathway

The clinician-investigator track offers two years of uninterrupted research training — flexible based on the needs of the applicant — incorporated into the last six months of the trainee's Internal Medicine Residency, extending into the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship.

The total length of the clinician-investigator track does not exceed the traditional clinical training program — that is, three years of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship training.

Read more about the Clinician-Investigator Training Program.

Postdoctoral research training grant (T32) pathway

This is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded two-year postdoctoral program. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellows have access to this program and do a four-year fellowship program with all clinical duties and ACGME requirements met during the first 24 months, with the last 24 months devoted to research.

This pathway is targeted mainly to fellows interested in pursuing an academic career, extramural funding and career development award applications at the end of training.

Physician-scientist pathway

This new pathway is reserved for candidates who are intent on pursuing a physician-scientist career track. Physician-scientists are defined as physicians who spend a substantial proportion of their professional effort — usually at least 50 percent of their total effort — in basic or clinical research.

Trainees taking this pathway receive 18 months of dedicated clinical time (to meet the ACGME and ABIM requirements) and 18 months of dedicated research time. The goal of this pathway is to prepare trainees to become physician-scientists who will pursue an academic career at the end of training and will apply for extramural grants, such as NIH K awards.

If you are interested in this pathway, be sure to discuss it further with the program director and the research associate program director before or during your interview.