Frequently Asked Questions
What general principles guide the CSP at Michigan?
- A carefully-organized yet flexible curriculum enables Scholars to master state-of-the-art research methods and then to apply those methods to their own research interests in any clinical discipline.
- An expectation for a high level of scholarly productivity enhances both short-term and long-term success.
- Didactic instruction is balanced with individualized instruction and project development.
- All Scholars receive close mentorship with formal committee oversight.
Can I get an academic degree?
- Yes. All Clinical Scholars are enrolled in a new program, specifically designed for Clinical Scholars, which leads to a Master’s Degree in Health and Health Care Research. The classes are based on adult-style learning, with your “homework” integrated with your research interests, so that while doing class work you are also progressing towards your specific research projects.
What do I do each year as a Clinical Scholar?
- The first year starts on July 1. It is primarily devoted to course work leading to the Master’s Degree.
- The second year is primarily devoted to research. A third year is optional. About half of all Scholars stay for a third year, which is devoted primarily to research.
Sounds like research is an important part of the fellowship. How do you support Clinical Scholars’ research projects?
- Substantial funds are available to support research projects.
- Scholars have generous protected time for research – at least 80% of their time.
- We offer full epidemiological and biostatistical support.
- Collaborators and mentors can be found at the Medical School, the Institute for Social Research, or the School of Public Health, along with many other departments at the University of Michigan.
- Scholars get to work in an environment with a rich tradition of supporting multidisciplinary research.
- They are provided with travel funds to attend professional conferences as well as a yearly meeting of the national CSP.
What sorts of subjects do Clinical Scholars study?
The CSP is designed to support multidisciplinary research across a breadth of specialties and disciplines, including (but not limited to):
- Community-Based Participatory Research
- Bioethics and Medical Humanities
- Clinical Outcomes Research
- Patient and Physician Decision-Making
- Health Economics
- Medical History
- Technology Assessment
- Health Care Delivery and Financing
- Health Care Quality and Access
- Health and Health Care Disparities
- Clinical Epidemiology
What is this “community-based participatory research” anyway? And what does it have to do with the CSP?
Community-based participatory research, or CBPR, is a research method that involves the community in every stage of the research project. We are fortunate at Michigan to be able to collaborate with a wide range of community partners, many located in Detroit or Flint. Together with the School of Public Health we have one of the best-developed relationships between an academic institution and communities in the country. All Clinical Scholars will learn the basics of CBPR through a series of workshops, seminars, and community visits; some Scholars will elect to use CBPR for their research projects.
I’ve heard that the CSP is for internists, with a sprinkling of pediatricians. Is that true?
We are happy to welcome internists and pediatricians into the group! But we also welcome people from all specialties. About two-thirds of the Clinical Scholars at Michigan have come from specialties other than internal medicine and pediatrics, and since the program first came into existence no fewer than 10 different clinical departments have hired a Clinical Scholar.
So, the short answer is that just as we welcome a wide range of research interests, we welcome clinicians from any clinical specialty.
When do people usually enroll in the CSP?
While most scholars enroll after the completion of their residency, most surgeons (though not all) enroll during the research years of their residency, often the 4th and 5th year.
What are the differences between the Clinical Scholars Program and the Health and Society Scholars Program?
Both are fellowships funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Clinical Scholars Program (CSP) is open only to physicians. The Health and Society Scholars Program (HSSP) does accept some physicians, but most who enroll are non-physicians. The HSSP focuses on population health; the CSP offers the option of studying population health as one of many potential areas of study. The CSP offers a Master’s Degree as part of the core curriculum; the HSSP does not. The University of Michigan is home to both a CSP and an HSSP, as well as yet a third RWJ-funded fellowship, the Scholars in Health Policy Research. While these are three distinct programs, faculty and fellows from all three regularly interact.
What do people who have completed the Clinical Scholars Program do once they leave the Program?
Over more than three decades the CSP has trained almost 1,000 physicians from varied disciplines. Scholars from the University of Michigan and the other CSP sites have gone on to a variety of exciting careers, including:
- Productive positions as academic physicians in a wide range of medical school units, including anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, nephrology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, plastic surgery, and urology.
- Directors of innovative academic programs at leading institutions, including programs in medical simulation, society and medicine, and women’s health.
- Research positions at federal agencies such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Directing innovative programs at the state and local levels, such as heading cardiovascular disease prevention and control in New York City.
- Leading public health at the highest levels, including the Surgeon General of the United States as well as becoming health commissioners of several states.
- Being Department Chairs and Deans at the nation’s leading medical schools.
What is it like to live in Ann Arbor?
Built on the banks of the Huron River and located 45 minutes west of downtown Detroit, Ann Arbor is a cultural mecca. Not only is it home to one of the finest academic institutions and one of the premier health systems in the country, the University of Michigan, but it also offers a unique blend of city sophistication and small town charm. Both ethnically diverse and culturally rich, Ann Arbor is consistently voted one of the best places to live in the United States. For information on housing, recreation, education, and many additional resources, visit: www.med.umich.edu/annarbor.
Is the Clinical Scholars Program offered anywhere else?
Yes, there are also CSP programs at the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.