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Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP)



The purpose of the University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine (EM) Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP) is to integrate postgraduate clinical and research training in order to develop physician-scientists who will be future leaders in academic emergency medicine. The PSTP is a pathway within the Emergency Medicine Residency Program and combines graduate medical education with the rich collaborative research community at University of Iowa. You will complete a 3-year residency with ample time for research electives, before transitioning to a 1-2 year fellowship period with 75% protected research time. During this fellowship, you will work in our Level 1 Emergency Department for 1 clinical shift per week as a staff physician. In total, this training will be a maximum of 5 years, with an end goal of becoming an independently-funded physician scientist by year 4 or 5. 

Why Iowa PSTP?

Are you a medical student who loves Emergency Medicine but also is passionate about research? Our PSTP pathway may be the perfect fit for you. Here at the University of Iowa, we have a long and strong history of supporting physician-scientists in all levels of training. UI Hospitals & Clinics boasts a robust Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in addition to eight other specialty PSTPs, of which EM joined the ranks in 2019. Here, you do not have to choose between being a great physician or a great scientist--you can have both, fully supported by a department filled with colleagues who are dedicated to improving the practice of EM.

There is ample opportunity for collaboration within and outside of our department, and lab space is present on hospital grounds in addition to the nearby campus.  Our Core Facilities, including Flow Cytometry, Genomics, and more, are a short (indoor!) walk away. There is established support on an institutional and departmental level for biomedical, basic science, clinical injury prevention, medical education, and health systems research. We offer 4 full elective blocks for you to find your research passion, establish a project, and create a mentor-mentee relationship. 

In addition, our department boasts full-time EM-specific research staff as well as 24/7 enrollment staff to recruit patients into clinical trials. Our faculty and residents understand the value of research to EM as a specialty, as evidenced by a high volume of peer-reviewed publications and on-going grant-funded activities.

Further, UI Hospitals & Clinics offers one of the very few PSTP opportunities available in EM. This program will be a stepping stone for future leaders of academic EM who will exemplify clinical and research excellence. 

What's the Difference Between PSTP and a Research Fellowship?

PSTP is the natural next step for many MD or DO/PhDs who already have substantial research experience and seek to continue research during residency and beyond. The goal for these residents is typically to become an independently-funded researcher who practices at an academic medical institution. While we do not require a PhD to apply (see requirements below), it is expected that any PSTP applicant will already have a similar body of work to a PhD or MS. In contrast, a research fellowship may be the perfect choice for resident who wants to initiate new research experience by obtaining a MS or MPH in order to establish themselves as leader in academic EM. We offer both!