Promoting Bench-to-Bedside Thinking

Clinical research is the “proof of principle” that a basic discovery has the potential to advance medicine and improve health. Clinical research scientists are the translators. Their role is to recognize the clinical relevance of basic discoveries and design the optimal means for determining if the discovery leads to improved health. Optimal translation demands the thoughtful, statistically sound analysis of data derived from a meticulously designed and conducted clinical research study. Extending an understanding of the health care benefits from the individual patient to society and how such benefits should drive health policy requires an additional skill set, anchored in economic theory and health policy.

Program Rationale

Studying the Clinical Research  Scholarly Concentration will enable students to critically evaluate the medical literature, underscoring the limitations of much of the current practice of medicine. Our belief is that the ability to critically review the burgeoning body of medical publications paves the way for a lifetime of learning that is essential to the prudent, conscientious, cost-effective practice of scholarly medicine.

Studying Clinical Research also will lay the foundation for students who ultimately decide to pursue academic careers as clinical research scientists. Acquiring the necessary design, analytic, and practical skills to facilitate a clinical research career during medical school would substantially enhance fellowship education and productivity, increasing the likelihood of securing an academic position and continued funding following fellowship training.

Integration with other Graduate Programs and Promoting Interdisciplinary Research

This program depends upon the integration of members of the Clinical Departments of the School of Medicine and the Department of Health Research and Policy.  In addition, many existing clinical research projects represent interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty in the Schools of Medicine, Health and Humanities, Engineering, Education, Law, and Business.