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Program Overview

Commitment to Physician-Scientist Training

There is a long-standing, strong commitment to physician-scientist training at UC San Diego. It is a particular emphasis of our Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences, Dr. John Carethers, and our Chair of Medicine, Dr. Zea Borok.

The UC San Diego Physician-Scientist Training Pathway in Internal Medicine is intended for physicians who are strongly committed to an academic investigative career. UCSD offers two separate tracks for physician-scientist training. 

  • Two-year ABIM fast-track
    • The pathway consists of 2 years of intensive clinical training, followed by 12-18 months of subspecialty clinical training, and typically 2-4 years of research training. 
  • Three-year Research-in-Residency track
    • The pathway consists of 3 years of clinical training, followed by 12–18 months of subspecialty clinical training, and typically 2-3 years of research training. There is >4 months of protected research time that allows trainees to remain engaged in research and productive during their residency training.

Benefits of PSTP

    • Early Admission: Trainees enjoy early admission to the fellowship of their choice.
    • Personalized Mentoring: PSTP trainees receive personalized mentoring from the PSTP program and research leaders within their own division.
    • Research Opportunities: Regardless of what clinical fellowship trainees join, they can perform their postdoctoral work in any lab in the School of Medicine, School of Engineering, School of Pharmacy, or the surrounding participating research institutes, including the Salk Institute, the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, Sanford Prebys Burnham, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and the Scripps Research Institute. 
    • Project and Career Development Grants: Trainees are eligible for a grant to support their transition from a fellow to a faculty position or to make them more competitive for K-grants. 
    • Post-fellowship Bridge Funding: Divisions supplement trainee salaries during their postdoctoral research training until their initial faculty appointment
    • Support for travel to scientific conferences, including the annual APSA/ASCI/AAP conference.
    • Specific Curriculum: two-week PSTP Didactic Service which includes instruction for grant-writing, lab/project management, development of independent research program, and other skills to succeed in academic medicine.

    Regardless of which track applicants choose, we help trainees become engaged with research as early as they would like, giving them opportunities and resources to explore new areas of interest and to pursue their passions. 

Translating basic mechanisms of human pathology into improvements in the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment & prevention of disease

Our trainees bring clinical observations to the laboratory for in-depth study and translate basic mechanisms of human pathology into improvements in the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Our residency training in internal medicine and its subspecialties is internationally recognized for its excellence. Our residents experience a diverse array of primary care and highly specialized cases in our hospitals, clinics, and with international opportunities.

Science in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, School of Engineering, and School of Pharmacey, as well as our partner institutions such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The Scripps Research Institute,  the La Jolla Institiure for Immunology, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is internationally recognized. This vast research hub supports one of the largest biotech sectors in the worls, which are partners with many of our faculty and alums.

Our physician-scientist faculty, known for their outstanding clinical skills and cutting-edge research, welcomes the opportunity to mentor our next generation of physician-scientists.

The UC San Diego Department of Medicine is a highly nourishing environment for a new physician who is devoted to crafting an independent academic career.

Vast Research Community

Get details of the vast research community accessible at UC San Diego: 

And for information about the broad range of research opportunities available throughout the UC San Diego community, go to:

Opportunities beyond UC San Diego are available at: