Addressing Community Health Needs, Eliminating Disparities
The Penn State T32 Primary Care Research Fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine is a two-year research training program for postdoctoral candidates that trains up to five fellows per year.
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The Penn State T32 Primary Care Research Fellowship is designed for postgraduate learners who wish to receive training in primary care research and address some of the most pressing problems in public health and health care, including substance use, mental health disorders, and related disparities. Eligible candidates will have an MD/DO/PhD or equivalent terminal degrees from a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, psychology or the social sciences. Eligibility includes being a US citizen or permanent resident.
The fellowship is led by experienced clinician-scientists in Family & Community Medicine, General Internal Medicine and General Pediatrics, in collaboration with partners from the broader Penn State community, with faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who bring varied perspectives to the investigation of complex problems. Our rigorous program is guided by leading-edge concepts of active mentorship; experiential learning; diversity, equity and inclusion; translational research; and team science. An individually-tailored training program is the core of the fellowship. Fellows have access to a vast array of coursework and degree programs; mentored research experiences across numerous departments, schools and institutes; and a collegial research-oriented institutional and departmental culture.
This training provides the environment in which diverse fellows learn to conduct culturally competent, high-quality primary care research and advance their careers toward the goal of becoming independent investigators able to conduct innovative primary care-based research that improves health outcomes in areas of high public health need.
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The Fellowship’s curriculum is based on the three pillars of the learning environment: tailored coursework, mentored research and collegial seminar series. Consistent with the diversity of primary care and the range of experience of the fellows, we tailor the details of learning experiences to each fellow’s needs; from this perspective, the fellowship does not have a set, rigid curriculum.
Planning for individualized training begins during the interview/hiring process, with discussion around optimal coursework, research questions and content mentors. The overall development plan and mentorship groups, including peer and near-pears, are established early in Year 1. Fellows begin research activities immediately, devoting time to deliverables, which can include review and other articles, conference abstracts, and grant proposals. Ongoing bi-directional review with mentors facilitates each fellow’s forward progress and productive mentor-mentee collaboration.
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Wellness, including emotional, spiritual, social and physical health, is a crucial component to training and to becoming a professional, compassionate and resilient physician. Self-care is a skill which must be continually practiced and reinforced. Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health are committed to addressing wellness among residents and fellows, with multiple resources readily available.
Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine celebrate, embrace and support the diversity of all patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees.
Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In keeping with this, Penn State Health has an active Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with various programs, networks and resource groups, including:
- Talks and lectures on diversity, equity and inclusion through Inclusion Academy
- Regular events on topics such as eradicating racism and creating a culture of inclusiveness
- An allyship support group
- Many affinity resource network groups, including:
- Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
- Group on Women in Medicine and Science
- Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
- LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
- Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
- Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education
The vision at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to provide culturally excellent health care and research for an increasingly diverse U.S. population. The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education was formed to help meet that goal.
Office for a Respectful Learning Environment
In addition, the institution does not tolerate discrimination, biases, microaggression, harassment or learner mistreatment of any kind, and any concerns are immediately addressed by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.