The overarching mission of the Resident Academic Track at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is to introduce residents to a broad array of clinical research, provide mentorship, and the development of an individualized academic growth plan for residents. A novel aspect of the RAT at UAMS relative to many of the more formally described and marketed “resident research tracks”, is the recognition academic careers are not solely dependent on the development of independent research careers. Rather, careers in academic medicine involve teaching, professional presentations, scholarly and critical literature reviews, collaborative research endeavors as co-investigators, and require a broad appreciation of research methodology. Consistent with the primary objective of identifying and training the next tier of academicians, the RAT provides a progressive exposure to academic scholarship and clinical research involving real world clinical co-morbid populations.
The RAT Executive Committee will review resident progress and provide input on continuation and/or re-direction. This Committee consists of psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and program coordinator. Interested PGY I residents will make application to the RAT Executive Committee and up to 4 residents are selected for participation in the PGY II RAT experience. PGY-II residents will spend 20 hours per week for two months on this rotation learning about psychometric scales, critical literature reviews, and translational research within the Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI). Each resident is expected to complete a professional presentation to the RAT Executive Committee and guests. The presentation will be critically reviewed for completeness of the literature review, presentation techniques and development, and educational engagement of the resident.
Specific rotations/experiences for the individual residents will be based on specific learning objectives and the previous training experience of the resident. The educational objectives of the RAT PGY II Rotation will include; 1) Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC); 2) Center for Addiction Services and Treatment (CAST) & Center for Addiction Research (CAR); and 3) Women’s Mental Health Program (WMHP). Competency in the various domains will undergo ongoing assessment and review.
Residents who successfully complete the PGY II experience may apply for a more limited number of PGY III slots (maximum 2-3). If selected by the Committee for continuation in the RAT, the resident will meet with members of the Committee to identify a mentoring team. The mentoring team will include 2-3 faculty engaged in ongoing clinical research involving the resident’s specific research interest. The PGY III RAT experience is 1½ days/week for the entire year.
The RAT experience will continue into the PGY IV year based on the progress of the individual residents and mentors. The time commitment and requirements in the 4th year will be mutually agreed upon by the resident and mentor. This will be reviewed by the RAT executive committee.