Physician scientists provide an invaluable resource in the pursuit of clinically relevant basic and translational research discoveries. The establishment of joint degree MD–PhD educational programs throughout the United States has helped to maintain a cohort of medical professionals who are well trained in both clinical medicine and biomedical research. However, professional development after graduation from a MD–PhD program until appointment as a faculty member has remained largely amorphous and unstructured. To fill this void in medical training and to promote the career development of talented individuals in academic medicine, the physician scientist training program (PSTP) was established at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 2000. This program provides training in general internal medicine and medical subspecialties, or in general dermatology, followed by research training leading to an appointment as a faculty member. In this article, the rationale for the development of the PSTP, its structure, and the initial outcomes of the program are described.
Dr. Muslin is Oliver M. Langenberg Distinguished Professor of the Science and Practice of Medicine and director, Center for Cardiovascular Research, John Milliken Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Kornfeld is David C. and Betty Farrell Professor of Medicine and codirector, Hematology Division, John Milliken Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Polonsky is Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and chairman, John Milliken Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Muslin, Center for Cardiovascular Research, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8086, St. Louis, MO 63110; e-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org).