The ProSTAR Program was devised to provide enhanced opportunities in basic, clinical or health services research for residents committed to pursuing physician-investigator careers following clinical training. With its demanding schedule, residency training often disconnects residents from their research interests. However, the ProSTAR Program seamlessly keeps residents engaged with their research goals.
PSTP residents are provided multi-level mentorship from a faculty member and a fellow in the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program. ProSTAR participants are also provided exposure 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 do 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 interact with members of the larger academic community in their area of interest.
Residents participate in as many STAR seminars (journal club, research presentations, and symposia) as they wish, with a requirement that they 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/PSTP Track dinner for participating residents will also be held during the calendar year to provide a dedicated forum for participants to interact and share ideas and feedback.
Each academic year, ProSTAR participants are expected to meet research mentors at least twice. 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.
UCLA ProSTAR/PSTP Paths
Path 1. Physician-Scientist - Basic Science
This track is for physicians committed to careers combining basic science research with subspecialty medicine. Mentors may be chosen from UCLA's basic science programs including:
- Biological Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering
- Experimental Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
- Human Genetics
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Molecular Biology
- Molecular Genetics
- Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
- Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
A partnership between UCLA School of Medicine and the California Institute of Technology allows STAR fellows and ProSTAR/PSTP residents to choose mentors at Caltech.
Path 2. Physician-Scientist - Health Services/Outcomes Research
This track is for physicians committed to careers combining clinical medicine with health services/outcomes research. Research is undertaken with faculty mentors from the Division of General Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the Departments of Health Services, Biostatistics, or Epidemiology in the School of Public Health or the Pardee-RAND Graduate School. This track leads to a PhD.
Path 3. Clinician-Investigator - Clinical Research
This track is for physicians committed to careers focused on multidisciplinary studies involving interactions with patients, diagnostic clinical materials, and data on populations.