Fellows receive formal didactic training through the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at Duke University. The program targets physicians interested in clinical research and epidemiology. Courses include the areas of clinical epidemiology, design of clinical trials, clinical decision analysis and biostatistics. Fellows are expected to complete a Masters in Health Sciences in Clinical Research through the CRTP.
Through lectures, seminars and small-group instruction, fellows develop statistical proficiency, learn to appraise medical literature critically and acquire skills for effective scientific writing. Most importantly, fellows learn to develop research projects, from their beginning as a clinical question to their completion as a scientific manuscript. For their master's thesis, fellows will develop and conduct an original clinical research project.
Clinically, fellows provide continuity care and supervise housestaff in an ambulatory care setting.
Fellows complete multiple mentored research projects as the primary focus of their fellowship experience. Fellows will be able be able to find assistance and expertise to study any disease in which they are interested. Core investigators provide research opportunities in the following methodologies: decision analysis; end-of-life care; epidemiology; ethics; health services research; health economics; medical informatics; minority health; patient-centered research; physician-patient communication; preventive medicine/disease screening; quality of care; telemedicine; and women's health.
Fellows are given dual mentoring from both MD and PhD preceptors for their research projects. Fellows also choose a three- to four-person research committee to review their proposals, monitor the progress of their projects and ensure that the resources required to complete the research in a timely fashion are made available.
The combination of dual-mentorship and a formal committee prepares fellows for future success in their research endeavors. Fellows may select preceptors from throughout the VA Medical Center and the Duke University Medical Center campus. Available mentors have diverse backgrounds and can accommodate any conceivable interest of prospective fellows.