Many opportunities are available for formal advanced training in research at BIDMC and affiliated institutions. These programs are all designed to integrate with fellowship training. You should also know about loan repayment programs sponsored by NIH.
The Master's Program in Clinical and Translational Investigation
The Master's Program in Clinical and Translational Investigation (MPCTI) is an innovative Harvard-wide training program in clinical investigation that is co-directed by Anthony Hollenberg, MD at BIDMC. While students spend most of their time in the program conducting research under the direction of an HMS faculty mentor, the initial summer course focuses on biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, clinical trial design, biomedical ethics, and responsible conduct of research. Additional courses include advanced biostatistics, translational pharmacology, genetics/-omics in clinical investigation, a project-based management course at Harvard Business School, and a weekly longitudinal seminar series. This is an exceptional opportunity for fully-funded formal research training in parallel with fellowship research. The MPCTI program awards a Master of Medical Science degree through Harvard Medical School.
Clinical and Translational Scientist Certificate Program
This one-year program (with a second-year option) includes a carefully structured but time-limited didactic curriculum on topics relevant to fellows pursuing clinical and translational research careers. The program focuses on study design, biostatistics, drug development, clinical pharmacology, research ethics, and novel technologies in investigation. CTSCP participants pursue mentor-based research projects, while the program provides additional external mentoring to each participant to help further his/her career and scientific development goals.
The Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health is designed for fellows and other clinicians seeking the quantitative and analytic skills needed for clinical research or interested in health care administration. It begins with an intensive seven-week, 15-credit summer program, which contains summer-long core courses in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. All participants also select two half-summer courses from offerings in Current Issues in Health Policy, Decision Analysis, Health Care Delivery, Implementing Prevention, Linear and Longitudinal Regression, Medical Informatics, Quality Improvement in Health Care, Research with Large Databases, and Survey of Methods and Applications in Health Services Research. Students have the option of advanced coursework leading to an MPH.
Of note, the extensive MPH program at the Harvard School of Public Health is directed by Murray Mittleman, MD, DrPH, a preventive cardiologist at BIDMC, who works with residents, fellows, and students to identify the optimal program for anyone considering advanced training.
Medical school debt should not be a disincentive to a career in research. NIH Loan Repayment Programs are a vital component of our nation's efforts to attract health professionals to careers in biomedical research. In exchange for a two-year commitment to your research career, NIH will repay up to $35,000 per year of your qualified educational debt, pay an additional 39% of the repayments to cover your Federal taxes, and may reimburse any state taxes that result from these benefits.