Physician Scientist Pathway

Program Description


The Department of Pathology Physician Scholars Program is a formal career development program for those residents or fellows preparing for a career as an independent scientist.

This program was designed to meet the guidelines for the American Board of Pathology's Physician Scientist Pathway. Residents are selected for the Physician Scholars Program upon admission to the residency program.

Such residents will be enrolled in the Stanford Society of Physician Scholars (SSPS) (see below) and are eligible for up to three years of salary support for postdoctoral research training after completion of their ACGME-approved residency and fellowship training.

Applicants selected for the Physician Scholar Program typically enter the residency program with MD and PhD degrees, and elect to train in  AP/CP,  AP only, CP only, or the AP/Neuropathology track.

Trainees may elect to exercise the option of completing a subspecialty fellowship after their residency training before entering the Physician Scholar Program.


Once clinical training requirements are met, Physician Scholars are appointed to faculty as Instructors and receive full salary support for up to three years from the Department while working in a mentored training environment of the Scholar’s choosing. During this three-year period, the Physician Scholar is expected to work closely with her or his mentor to launch a strong research program and apply for external support from the NIH, e.g., K08 award, and foundations.


The Department will assist residents in finding a suitable laboratory at Stanford for their mentored research training; the director of the laboratory may be a faculty member in the Department of Pathology or any other department in the University.

Indeed, Stanford University has an outstanding School of Engineering, which, together with the School of Medicine, has established a Bioengineering Department. Stanford University also has outstanding Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Statistics in the School of Humanities and Sciences.


Residents in the Physician Scholar Program will be enrolled by the Department for membership in the Stanford Society of Physician Scholars (SSPS).

This program, launched in 2010, fosters the academic development of aspiring independent investigators.

The SSPS provides residents with a formal career development program that includes a seminar series, mentoring by successful physician-scholars and fundamental scientists, and the opportunity to mentor a Stanford medical student with interests complimentary to those of the resident-mentor. Members of the SSPS also participate in their departmental research training program (the program for the Department of Pathology is described above).