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What is Clinical Translational Research?
Clinical and translational research (CTR) uses epidemiological, physiological and molecular tools to identify disease causality and to speed the application of knowledge gained from scientific discoveries to patient care and population health. CTR involves teams of researchers as well as practicing clinicians working together to advance the state of the art in our understanding, treatment and prevention of human disease.
How will participation in this pathway enhance my medical education experience and future practice?
Increasingly, physicians are working to improve their practice based on scientific evidence, and to play an important role in the discovery and application of such evidence. Also, they are asked to recruit their patients from both hospital and community practices to participate in clinical and translational research studies. This pathway assists its graduates to:
Successful participation in the Clinical Translational Research Pathway (CTRP) entails appropriate participation in courses and experiential learning in parallel with the traditional medical student curriculum. This includes acquiring the broad array of skills necessary to lead and participate in CTR such as epidemiology biostatisitics and cellular-molecular biology at the level expected for a Master’s degree. Students who do not already have a Master’s degree or equivalent when they start medical school, will be offered the opportunity to enroll in and obtain the Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) offered by the Graduate School of Biological Sciences on the Worcester campus. For this purpose, the most competitive students in the CTRP will complete an additional year to fulfill the requirements of the MSCI and graduate at the end of 5 years with both MD and MSCI degrees (not necessarily in this order). The key component of the CTRP is mentored hands-on research during the entire period of medical school training. This mentored research is in addition to participation in CTRP-specific small group coursework and is of variable intensity depending on the year of training. The CTRP student’s training will be tailored to individual needs under the supervision of the CTRP Directors and the student’s faculty mentor.