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The Integration of Clinical and Research Training: How and Why MD-PhD Programs Work.

A new interesting article has been published in Acad Med. 2018 Sep 25. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002467. and titled:

The Integration of Clinical and Research Training: How and Why MD-PhD Programs Work.

Authors of this article are:
Ng E Jones AA Sivapragasam M Nath S Mak LE Rosenblum ND.

A summary of the article is shown below:
For over 60 years, MD-PhD programs have provided integrated clinical and research training in order to produce graduates primed for physician-scientist careers. Yet the nature of this integrated training is poorly characterized, with no program theory of integrated MD-PhD training to guide program development or evaluation. The authors address this gap by proposing a program theory of integrated MD-PhD training applying constructs from cognitive psychology and medical education. The authors argue that integrated training early in becoming a physician-scientist requires development of at least three elements in trainees: cognitive synergy, sense of self, and professional capacity. First, integrated programs need to foster the cognitive ability to synergize and transfer knowledge between the clinical and research realms. Second, integrated programs need to facilitate development of a unique and emergent identity as a physician-scientist that is more than the sum of the individual roles of physician and scientist. Third, integrated programs should develop core competencies unique to physician-scientists in addition to those required of each independently. The authors describe how programs can promote development of these elements in trainees, summarized in a logic model. Activities and process measures are provided to assist institutions in enhancing integration. Specifically, programs can enact the proposed theory by providing tailored MD-PhD curricula, personal development planning, and a supportive community of practice. It is high time to establish a theory behind integrated MD-PhD training as the basis for designing interventions and evaluations to develop the foundations of physician-scientist expertise.

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