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Research Track in Psychiatry

The Residency Research Track program in the Department of Psychiatry and the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute of the University of Michigan is an innovative program that has been in existence since the early 1980s. This program is designed to attract psychiatry residents into research, provide research training in a longitudinal fashion throughout residency training and prepare graduates to become the next generation of clinician-investigators. Innovative aspects of this program are that residents join this track early intheir residency training and receive extensive research experience as part of an extended period of postdoctoral training, providing early research exposure rather than postponing it to a post-residency fellowship. The Research Track provides the equivalent of eighteen months of research training as part of a five-year residency program; this research effort is spent by working approximately half time on the research component of the training program over a period of slightly more than three years.

It is our philosophy that it is best to attract and recruit trainees early in their careers and teach them research skills over a significant period of time, which permits the acquisition of necessary fundamentals; provides a longitudinal perspective, and sufficient time to collect, analyze and publish data. The specific objectives of the Research Track are to provide: (1) a sequenced educational experience to prepare psychiatry residents to pursue careers in mental health research; and (2) a unique opportunity of integrating clinical training with research experiences. The program strives to be an integrated training sequence of both clinical and research training. At the conclusion of training, Research Track residents will have received the training, structure and resources necessary to begin an academic, research-focused career in psychiatry. Ninety percent of Research Track graduates currently hold full-time academic positions at various medical schools.

Our program is vital and active, with a number of trainees pursuing clinical and basic science projects related to psychiatric illness. This program is supported by an educational grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.