Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast



RWJF Site for Clinical Scholars

The School of Medicine has been selected to serve as a training site for the Clinical Scholars Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), beginning in 2005. For each of the two years of the Penn-based program, eight Scholars will be trained in all aspects of health services research. In addition, up to four Scholars will be selected each year for a third year of training.

Begun 31 years ago as the first competitive national program of the Foundation, the Clinical Scholars Program helps young physicians acquire new skills and training in the quantitative and qualitative sciences underlying health services research--including epidemiology, biostatistics, economics, anthropology, sociology, communications, policy analysis, and health systems. To date, more than 900 physicians have participated in the program, which offers two years of graduate-level study and research as part of a university-based, post-residency training program. Many of the program's graduates have attained leadership positions in academic medicine, the government, and private industry.

"What's especially exciting about the RWJ Clinical Scholars Program moving forward is its focus on leadership training--including faculty training for participating sites--and the opportunities for community-based participatory research and primary data collection," said Dr. Jeane Ann Grisso, senior program officer at RWJF. "We believe that these new areas of development will be especially attractive to the new scholars."

"Our curriculum is innovative, comprehensive and challenging," said Dr. Harold I. Feldman, co-director of the Penn Clinical Scholars Program, and associate professor of medicine and clinical epidemiology. "The elements that will characterize the Penn Clinical Scholars Program include a strong, multi-disciplinary mentorship; individualized training within a common, structured curriculum in health services research and health policy; and scholar-initiated research experiences developed and conducted in partnership with community organizations."

"Penn scholars will acquire significant research competencies and be encouraged to think creatively about research problems and future career paths that offer the potential to improve the health of the public," added Dr. J. Sanford Schwartz, also CO-director, and professor of medicine and health management & economics. "Scholar training will be centered around community-based and policy-relevant research designed to inform community-based interventions and health policy. In addition, Scholars will be trained in leadership, communication and advocacy skills, and will interact with public and private-sector health policy and healthcare delivery leaders to better understand their needs and perspectives."

"Our location in a rich multi-cultural urban environment will contribute to providing ideal training for the new Scholars beyond traditional academic boundaries," said Dr. Arthur H. Rubenstein, EVP of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine. "By partnering with important community groups and strong clinical affiliates, our Scholars will gain a rigorous training foundation that should lead, in turn, to the development of policy-relevant research designed to improve community health."

In addition to collaborative activities with the other schools within Penn, the Clinical Scholars Program at Penn will include CHOP and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center as its neighboring clinical partners.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 22, February 18, 2003