The General Academic Pediatrics Fellowship is based in the Division of Health Services Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University (BU) Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. BMC has more than a 100-year history of caring for poor, urban, and immigrant children, and much of our research focuses on improving the lives of these children. The clinical service has approximately 2,000 admissions and 75,000 ambulatory visits each year.
The General Academic Pediatrics Fellowship is part of the larger Academic Primary Care Fellowship at BMC/BU in collaboration with the Division of General Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Department of Surgery, the Preventive Medicine Training program, and the BU School of Public Health.
The fellowship seeks to prepare physician and pre/post-doctoral fellows, including DNP and PhD level nurses, for careers as leaders in health services research, epidemiology, public health practice, and medical education. The program comprises three main interconnected components: mentored scholarly projects with experienced faculty members, academic seminars of key topics to promote professional development, and obtaining a master's of science or advanced coursework from the BU School of Public Health. Fellows also have the opportunity to provide clinical care at the BMC Pediatric Primary Care Clinic for one to two sessions a week. The fellowship program is supported by grants from the Health Resources & Services Administration and Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. The training program is two to three years in length, with 80% of our graduates going on to pursue careers in academia.
The primary objective of the fellowship is to develop research competency, so that trainees can become successful independently supported physician-scientists. The specific objectives are to:
- Gain experience and knowledge in research design;
- Master statistical methods used in research and the interpretation of the medical literature;
- Understand the importance of appropriate statistical consultation;
- Become familiar with the problems and challenges of performing research;
- Conduct, analyze, present and publish the results of independent research projects in areas reflecting the objectives of Healthy People 2010;
- Complete at least one research project, culminating in a presentation and publication;
- Prepare a grant application prior to completion of the training program; and
- Develop skills in other areas that contribute to academic success, such as teaching and communication.
The development of research competency is accomplished through intensive mentoring and by course work at BU School of Public Health leading to a Masters degree in Population Health Research. Research seminars, completion of both directed and independently developed research projects, regular journal clubs, and attendance at regional and national research/scientific meetings are also part of the curriculum. Additional information can be found here.
We participate in the Academic General Pediatrics NRMP Fellowship Match Program. More information about the Match can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Alison Galbraith, MD, MPH
Fellowship Director, General Academic Pediatrics
Program Manager, Academic Primary Care Fellowship
We believe that mentoring is one of the keys to success of any training program. In addition, we believe that mentorship can generally be conceptualized as involving both career counseling and intensive support around research. This type of dual mentorship is important, since many of the issues that trainees deal with are not only related to research projects, but also career issues. Our goal is to ensure that fellows have both a research and career mentor who meet with them on a regular basis.
Boston University School of Public Health
Fellows can obtain a Masters of Science degree in Population Health Research at the Boston University School of Public Health. Over the first summer, each fellow takes two courses – one in introductory biostatistics and the other introductory epidemiology – which are taught in parallel. We believe they represent an important aspect of the training program, providing the fellows with an excellent starting point as they consider their research projects.Learn more about the Boston University School of Public Health.
Participation in Division and Fellowship Seminars
Fellows participate in several different research and didactic seminar series, each of which serves a distinct purpose.
Pediatrics Research Seminars
The Department of Pediatrics holds weekly Research Seminars which include research presentations and Work in Progress sessions (WIPs). The purpose of the WIP session is for the presenter to receive constructive feedback on his/her work from the group of researchers. Often, individuals will present preliminary data analyses, methodologic quandaries or alternative methods to study a particular phenomenon. Fellows also have the opportunity to learn about research being conducted in the Department, identify potential areas for collaboration, and see examples of research using a variety of methodologies. These seminars include a monthly Skills Session on topics such as mentorship, writing a Specific Aims page, and leading a research team.
Academic Primary Care Fellowship Seminars
Fellows Report is a combined seminar with the fellows from General Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine, Family Medicine, Surgery, Preventive Medicine, and BUSPH. This seminar occurs monthly and gives fellows the opportunity to present their work on a regular basis to a multidisciplinary audience of fellows and faculty.
This weekly conference with fellows from the other Departments emphasizes important aspects of academic medicine that are not taught in formal coursework. Sessions include: Getting the Most from Your Research Mentor; Negotiating an Academic Job; Presenting at Meetings; How to Explain Your Academic Interests in an Elevator Pitch; and Abstract and Paper Writing.
Fellows Journal Club
A one-hour journal club is held approximately 14 times a year with the General Internal Medicine fellows. Sessions focus on critically evaluating a range of articles covering a range of study designs such as superiority RCT, pilot, qualitative, and cohort designs. Journal clubs are led by the fellows with support from faculty.
Curriculum Related to Preparation and Submission of Grants
The fellowship emphasizes the preparation and submission of a grant during the later part of the fellowship. This was done based on feedback from former trainees and senior leadership given that the amount of protected-time for early career researchers can be limited and that extramural funding is critical in ensuring their success. Fellows receive instruction in how to write a grant, potential grant sources including, career development awards, and the NIH review process.
Teaching and Communication
Recognizing the importance for academic researchers to be able to teach and communicate with other professionals, fellows participate in the Learning to Teach and Communicate seminar. The seminar focuses on the pedagogy of teaching and the development of communication and teaching skills.
Involvement in Greater Research Community – Regional and National Meetings
The fellows participate in at least three regional and/or national research meetings, including, the regional Academic Pediatric Association (APA) meeting and the national Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. Prior to participating in these meetings, faculty provide opportunities for fellows to practice their presentations and the Fellows Seminars include teaching on how to make effective use of such meetings.
Patient Care and Attendance at Case of the Week and Grand Rounds
Clinical commitment averages 20% to 30% per year over the two-year training program. Clinical work is critical for two reasons: (1) to inform research related to health patient health and health care services; (2) to remain clinically competent for academic positions with clinical responsibilities.
Additional information about the Academic Primary Care Fellowship and how to apply can be found here.
Fellows Coffee with the Fellowship Director and Division Chief
The fellows have coffee with the fellowship director and division chief monthly to discuss specific pediatric fellowship issues and provide on-going feedback in an informal setting.
Faculty presence is required at each of these seminars; and in this way, fellows have regular contact with the entire division of general pediatrics.