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MUSC Psychiatry Residency Research Track Receives the
2009 American College of Psychiatrists Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education

Drs. Brady, Back, Santos

The American College of Psychiatrists has selected the MUSC Department of Psychiatry’s Residency Research Track to receive its 2009 Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education. The goal of the program is to increase the number of psychiatrists pursuing careers as independent clinical investigators.

The program provides a rigorous experiential/didactic research track integrated into the four years of required training for board specialization in general psychiatry. Residents are matched with experienced mentors and are taught methodological and grant writing skills.

The program was selected because it directly responds to the critical shortage of psychiatrist researchers, as determined by the Institute of Medicine, using innovative strategies to overcome existing barriers to physician research training, namely: (1) access to research mentors (mentoring typically occurs without compensation for time and effort); (2) support for research training time during clinical residency); and (3) financial incentives for potential trainees (debt for medical students has more than doubled since 1985).

By securing outside funds, financial support was obtained for mentor time, resident’s time while engaged in research training, and expenses associated with research projects. In addition, the program was structured to allow residents to take advantage of a new NIH program that provides loan repayment as an incentive for potential clinical researchers.

The program is directed/coordinated by Drs. Kathleen Brady, Sudie Back, and Al Santos (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences).