About the Program

Program Design  |  Evaluations During Training  |  Contact Information


There is a long-standing, strong commitment to physician-scientist training at UC San Diego.  Physician-scientist training has also recently assumed renewed importance nationally, at the National Institutes of Health, and at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.  It is a particular emphasis of our Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. David Brenner and our Chair of Medicine, Dr. Wolfgang H. Dillmann

Our Physician-Scientist Training Pathway in internal medicine is intended for individuals with a strong commitment to an academic investigative career. The program conforms to the American Board of Internal Medicine guidelines for research residencies.

UC San Diego is a rich and productive biomedical science research community. The research portion of the PSTP consists of mentored research training in leading laboratories in the Department of Medicine, the School of Medicine and various other departments in the University.

We suggest that you review the University websites for the Department of Medicine, the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the Cancer Center, as these will provide further details of the vast research community accessible at UC San Diego.  In addition, opportunities are available at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.   Additionally, viewing the Medical Scientist Training Program website and the main UC San Diego website will provide you with information about the broad range of research opportunities reaching throughout the UC San Diego community.

Program Design

All PSTP trainees are assigned to a senior investigator who serves as an advisor throughout the entire training period. The advisor will provide individual academic and career counseling and will assist the trainee in selecting scientific mentors.

Trainees may elect to follow one of two tracks in preparation for faculty positions.

General Internal Medicine Track

The Physician-Scientist Training Pathway in General Internal Medicine consists of 5 years of training. Two years are clinical and three are research.  In this program, the residents do an internship and one year of residency.  For PSTP residents, the training opportunities during the first two clinical years are identical to those in the Categorical track of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.  The PSTP residents enter the research segment of the program following successful completion of the clinical years.

Subspecialty Track

The PSTP program can be advantageously combined with most of our subspecialty fellowship training programs. If an applicant has decided on a specific subspecialty, in many cases the application to the PSTP can be combined with early admission to the subspecialty fellowship program. The participating subspecialties have agreed to provide preferential acceptance of qualified PSTP trainees who are committed to a career in academic medicine and who complete their clinical training successfully.

Applicants who wish to combine early acceptance to subspecialty fellowship must meet with the fellowship director or their representative of the subspecialty they are interested during their interview here. To ensure this, an applicant must inform us of the subspecialty direction early in the application process to allow adequate time to coordinate that interview.

An applicant who is interested in one or more potential subspecialties should also indicate this interest in his or her application, and we will try to include a meeting with the fellowship program directors from each division of interest. For applicants undecided at the time of applying to the PSTP, application for the subspecialty program must be initiated by October of the the first year of training.   Because the clinical medicine training is a short track (2 years) and some of the research requirements for the PSTP and fellowship can be shared, the trainee can quickly be prepared for a faculty position. If desired, the clinical subspecialty fellowship training can follow the clinical residency training, prior to commencement of the laboratory training.

Evaluations During Training

Objectives of Training

The objectives of the PSTP are to provide residents with outstanding opportunities for training in investigative medicine and to prepare them for future careers at the cutting edge of biomedical research. Additional goals are to train and develop the next generation of leaders of academic medicine, preparing them for faculty positions at leading universities, including UC San Diego.

Evaluation of Clinical Performance

Evaluation of clinical performance of PSTP trainees will be identical to that for the categorical internal medicine program trainees. Research performance will be evaluated by the research mentor on a quarterly basis and reviewed by the program leadership. Feedback will be provided to the trainee. The trainees will be evaluated on their research methods, study design, data analysis, critical evaluation of the scientific literature, and research ethics. Periodic written reports will be required of the trainee and reviewed by the mentor before forwarding to the program leadership. The trainee will also be required to evaluate the mentor and the quality of the training program.

Contact Information

For additional information, please feel free to contact:

Mark Ginsberg, M.D., Director, UC San Diego PSTP, mhginsberg@ucsd.edu

Joseph Vinetz, M.D., Associate Director, UC San Diego PSTP, jvinetz@ucsd.edu