Physician Scientist Track

The Stanford Pediatrics Residency Physician Scientist Track is designed to encourage and support physician-scientist residents on their career paths to become academicians and clinician-investigators. This track includes MD/PhD, MD, and DO residents who have had extensive prior research experience. This program allows research-focused residents to have dedicated funding for a Stanford fellowship.

At Stanford, we have a track record of cultivating and fostering the careers of physician scientists. We offer this additional match for physician scientist applicants interested in a research intensive career. Both the Physician Scientist Track (4 positions/year) and Categorical Track are available to physician scientist applicants, and research intensive candidates may apply to both. However, we can only support the American Board of Pediatrics’ alternative pathways (IRP and ARP) for residents on the Physician Scientist Track.

For those on the Physician Scientist Track, we can allow three different potential schedules, depending on your interests:

  • Categorical Pathway:  3 years residency with optimized research/elective time
  • Integrated Research Pathway (IRP): 3 years residency + 3 years fellowship; allows for 11 months of research during residency
  • Accelerated Research Pathway (ARP): 2 years residency + 4 years fellowship; includes 2 months of electives during residency and  allows for an extra year of research during fellowship


We strategically plan our physician scientist track residents' schedules.

  • Intern Year:
    • Lighter months interspersed to allow you to explore potential labs/mentors; also can do clinical electives
    • Research or elective time in November (2 weeks) and in the spring (2 weeks)
    • Protected to attend Dept of Pediatrics Annual Research Retreat
  • Junior/Senior Year: ability to schedule research months the way you want them
  • Continuity Clinic:
    • During research months, option of clinic full day 2x/month or half day weekly
    • Senior year, option of subspecialty clinic

Representation & Mentorship

  • Dedicated Physician Scientist Advisor for track  
  • Physician Scientist representative on residency council (nominated by peers)
  • Membership in the Stanford Society of Pediatric Scholars (SSPS)
    • Created by the Office of the Dean in 2010 to support the academic development of residents and fellows from clinical departments across the School of Medicine. SSPS aims to create opportunities that connect trainees to the broader Stanford Medicine community and facilitate their pathway from residency and fellowship to academic careers .

Research Curriculum

  • Have option of: 
    • Scholarship Academy or Intensive Course in Clinical Research
    • Grant Writing Course
    • Manuscript Writing Course
  • Scholarly Concentrations

Research Funding

  • Mary Leonard Physician Scientist Track Grants ($10,000 individual grant per resident). Application cycle twice per year
  • Funding for Conferences (available to all residents)
    • $2,000 grant for presenting at conference if submit first draft of paper
  • May apply for other internal or external grants
  • Funding for all 3 years of fellowship if applicant accepted into a Stanford fellowship position
  • Funding for Instructor position as bridge between fellowship and faculty appointment
  • Mentorship for K and F32 awards

Explore Physician Scientist Program

Susan Canny, MD, PhD presenting at the Annual Department of Pediatrics Research Retreat

I chose the research track at Stanford because of the incredible mentorship, excellent research, opportunities for professional development and the flexibility to integrate research throughout my clinical training. -Lori Lee, MD, PhD (Class of 2020)
Stanford is unique in its support of unique training pathways. Within a few months of starting Pediatrics Residency, I received support from the program and the Division of Pediatric Cardiology to become the first Pediatrics Accelerated Research Pathway trainee here at Stanford. Now in the research phase of my fellowship, I have had numerous opportunities to build bridges between my clinical and research passions. -Sharon Paige, MD, PhD (Class of 2015)

Sharon Paige, MD, PhD running an experiment in the lab