Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics

Physician-Scientist Training Program

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The McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University pediatric residency program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago wants to recruit residents with MD-PhD degrees or otherwise have unique experiences that indicate a strong commitment to a career in research. The Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) experience is designed to facilitate the development of accepted candidates into academic clinician-investigators. Please scroll down for application information.

Elements and Milestones by Year

The standard pediatric residency-fellowship sequence lasts six years. Acceptance into the Pediatric PSTP includes the offer of a guaranteed fellowship position in the PSTP scholar's subspecialty of choice, contingent upon maintenance of satisfactory progress in the residency program. We are committed to working with the prospective resident to develop a schedule that supports their career aspirations, including the possibility of fast-tracking residency training or adding an additional research year at the end of fellowship.

 

Year 1

Elements

  • Career mentor
  • Clinical rotations
  • PSTP monthly scholars lunch
  • Scholar Research Day dinner
  • Support for books and travel
 

Year 1

Milestones

  • Interviews with potential labs/mentors
  • Subsequent training course determined (two or three years)

Integrated Track

  • Commit to lab/mentor by February
  • Alternative training plan submitted to board by March
  • Spring match entered, if relevant
 

Year 2

Elements

  • Clinical rotations
  • PSTP monthly scholars lunch
  • Scholar Research Day dinner
  • Support for books and travel
  • Conduct Research Morning Report
 

Year 2

Milestones

  • Consider research review article (may be hard to do as an intern)

Standard Track

  • Commit to lab/mentor by October
  • Spring match entered, if relevant

Integrated Track

  • Fall match entered, if relevant
 

Year 3

Elements

  • PSTP monthly scholars lunch
  • Scholar Research Day dinner
  • Support for books and travel
  • Conduct Research Morning Report

Standard Track

  • Third-year resident leadership and research training
  • Grant-writing collaborative for F32 (second half of year)

Integrated Track

  • First-year clinical fellow
 

Year 3

Milestones

Standard Track

  • Fall match entered, if relevant
  • Begin work in lab

Integrated Track

  • Major portion of clinical subspecialty training
 

Year 4

Elements

  • PSTP monthly scholars lunch
  • Scholar Research Day dinner
  • $10,000 salary support

Standard Track

  • First-year clinical fellow

Integrated Track

  • Fellowship research-emphasis
  • Grant-writing collaborative for F32 (first half of year)
 

Year 4

Milestones

  • F32 proposal submitted early in year

Standard Track

  • Major portion of clinical subspecialty training

Integrated Track

  • Begin work in lab
 

Year 5

Elements

  • Fellowship research emphasis
  • PSTP monthly scholars lunch
  • Research Scholar's Day Dinner
  • $10,000 salary support
  • Direct research blitz (division presentations to residents)
 

Year 5

Milestones

  • Manuscript submitted by year-end
 

Year 6

Elements

  • PSTP monthly scholars lunch
  • Research Scholar's Day Dinner
  • $10,000 salary support
  • K Grant–writing collaborative
  • Leadership training course

Standard Track

  • Fellowship research emphasis

Integrated Track

  • Research year
 

Year 6

Milestones

  • Submit K proposal

Program Details

 Program Structure

The standard pediatric residency-fellowship sequence lasts six years. Acceptance into the Pediatric PSTP includes the offer of a guaranteed fellowship position in the scholar's subspecialty of choice, if desired. This is contingent upon maintenance of satisfactory progress in the residency program. We are committed to working with prospective residents to develop schedules that support their career aspirations, including the possibility of fast-tracking residency training and/or adding an additional research year at the end of fellowship.

Several training pathways (PDF) are supported by the Lurie Children’s PSTP, with these goals:

  • Developing excellent clinical skills as residents caring for a diverse patient population in a strongly committed training environment
  • Initiating a trajectory that leads to a career as an independent pediatric investigator

We recommend following either of these pathways:

Accelerated/Integrated Pathway

This pathway decreases the length of standard Pediatrics and subspecialty training by one year. After two years of residency, the scholar’s third year is one of clinical subspecialty fellowship training, followed by two years of research training with some continuity of clinical experience. The scholar may choose to pursue a third year of research as a hybrid between fellowship and faculty status, with very minimal clinical responsibilities, during which time additional publications may be developed or a K-award application is written.

Research-Emphasis Residency

In this pathway, the scholar completes three years of residency prior to entering fellowship, but at least half of the third year is spent in research. Although this prolongs the duration of residency/fellowship, it offers the opportunity to enter the laboratory earlier or to rotate through more than one lab if the scholar is undecided about which lab to enter. 

 

 Guidance & Support

Each participant in the PSTP will receive guidance from two members of the faculty. Upon joining the program, scholars are linked with a career mentor who serves as a sounding board for decisions involving program structure, choice of a research mentor and long-term career issues. The research mentor is chosen after the scholar determines the ideal research environment for career development. This can occur at any time during the first several years in the program. Trainees may work with any research program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

During residency and fellowship training, scholars are supported with supplemental funds for books, journals and travel to conferences. Additional support is available for some laboratory expenses.

 Application Process

Applicants should apply to the Categorical Pediatrics Training Program of the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University through ERAS. In addition to their application through ERAS, applicants should submit the Pediatric PSTP Application. If not already included in ERAS, applicants should also submit a letter of recommendation from their principal research mentor and one additional letter from an individual familiar with their research potential.

Whenever possible, potential applicants will be interviewed on dedicated days in conjunction with the medical school-wide PSTP program. On one day, candidates will meet with clinical faculty. On the next, they'll meet with potential mentors and with subspecialty division faculty if they have declared a future subspecialty interest. Acceptance into the program will be via the National Resident Matching Program and will be based on commitment to and potential for a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist.

 Benefits

As a PSTP scholar, you will be assigned a career mentor at the beginning of your residency. The career mentor and PSTP director will work with you to identify a research mentor as soon as possible.

In collaboration with the residency program director, you'll design a residency and fellowship program track to fulfill your needs.

Scholars are guaranteed positions in the fellowships of their choice, assuming they remain in good standing as a resident and their application is submitted at the same time others in their postgraduate year would be applying for a similar fellowship. You won't be required to make a commitment to remain at Feinberg as a fellow, but you will be held to such a commitment once it is made.

You'll also have the opportunity to accelerate your training by completing residency in two years or to spend concentrated elective time in third residency year working in a lab.

Yearly benefits include:

Year 1

  • Assigned a career mentor
  • Up to $4,000 for books and travel

Year 2

  • Up to $4,000 for books and travel

Year 3

  • As a resident, up to $4,000 for books and travel
  • If fast-tracking, clinical subspecialty training emphasis

Fellowship Years (PGY-3 or -4, depending upon track)

  • Up to $4,000 for books and travel
  • $10,000 per year for laboratory expenses (may be "banked" during early fellowship years and used later)
  • $10,000 in salary supplement, if active and productive in a laboratory

Potential Research Year

  • The department will consider the option of a fourth year as a fellow to spend virtually entirely in research

Current Scholars

Divakar Mithal, MD, PhD

Divakar Mithal, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 5

BS: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MD: Northwestern University
PhD: Neurophysiology

Kyle MacQuarrie, MD, PhD

Kyle MacQuarrie, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 5

BS: University of Massachusetts-Amherst
MD: University of Washington, School of Medicine
PhD: Molecular and Cellular Biology

Jessica Lee, MD, PhD

Jessica Lee, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 1

BS: Elmhurst College
MD: Loyola University Chicago
PhD: Loyola University Chicago

Ryan Hurtado, MD, PhD

Ryan Hurtado, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 1

BS: University of Wisconsin-Madison
MD: Northwestern University
PhD: Northwestern University

Contact Us

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Ave., Box #86
Chicago, IL 60611
312-227-4337

PedsRes@luriechildrens.org
Pediatrics@luriechildrens.org

Patrick C. Seed, MD, PhD

Patrick C. Seed, MD, PhD

Associate Chief Research Officer, Basic Science

patrick.seed( at )northwestern.edu
312-227-4080

View Faculty Profile

H. William Schnaper, MD

H. William Schnaper, MD

Associate Chair, Faculty Development

schnaper( at )northwestern.edu
312-503-1180

View Faculty Profile

Sharon M Unti, MD

Sharon M Unti, MD

Pediatric Residency Program Director

Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care

View Faculty Profile

Graduate Research Resources

Graduate Research Resources

We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and training to help our residents and fellows excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.

Visit the Housestaff Research Portal

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