Note From The Director

Richard A. Steinman, M.D., Ph.D.

Because of the economic pressures on academic medicine, I believe that the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) is more important now than it was 20 years ago. The desire for a healthy society creates the demand for the combination of clinical and basic sciences. Academic medicine is one of the most rewarding and reinforcing professions. Unfortunately, the rapid advancement of medical knowledge and the complexity of clinical care make it one of the most challenging professions. The broad training of the PSTP facilitates the cross-fertilization between clinical and basic sciences that facilitates new discoveries and treatments.

The Pittsburgh PSTP is a structured 5-year program designed to position graduates for careers in academic medicine. The principal goal is to efficiently train the highest quality academic faculty. Every student has an individualized training program and participates in our enrichment curriculum beyond the standard medical school courses. As a reflection of our interest in the long-range careers of our students, we include two Professional Development courses that teach critical skills for physician scientists.

The PSTP offers an accelerated path to the skillset required of a physician scientist. Students who seek a more extended training period at Pitt might consider the MD/PhD granting Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Why Pittsburgh? Applicants are likely to find a strong match in Pittsburgh’s phenomenal collection of programs and faculty. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is strongly committed to providing students with a medical education based on the continual process of problem-based learning, rather than rote memorization of facts. There are two problems with teaching biomedical science: one is that only a portion of what we are teaching today will withstand the test of time, and the other is, we do not know which portion. So a student must be prepared to be a student for life. That is what the Physician Scientist Training Program in Pittsburgh is all about.