Academic Enhancement Track
University of Virginia Academic Enhancement Track
The University of Virginia (UVa) has a long and distinguished history of training academic urologists. Over the past 15 years, nearly 70% (20/29) of our graduating residents have completed a fellowship and attained academic positions at prestigious institution. Most urology programs have abandoned the full research year due to changing financial conditions, professional attitudes, and incorporation of a research year into fellowship training programs. However, many fellows and junior faculty pursue additional non research training during or after fellowships to better prepare for a successful academic career. To accommodate those residents wishing to pursue an academic career and attain leadership skills in this competitive health care environment, we have developed a novel second advanced track during residency. Our standard track consists of a year of pre-urology and four years of urologic training for a total of five years. Beginning July 1, 2010 we will initiate a second track, entitled Academic Enhanced Track (AET). Candidates can match to either program since many students are uncertain whether they wish to pursue academics.
The AET track is a one year advanced clinical training program embedded into the middle of our five year residency. The impetus for this voluntary additional year is a desire to train world renown urologic thought leaders. Current urologic residencies provide basic education in research methodology, principles of evidence-based medicine, and literature review, they provide rudimentary exposure to scientific method, business practices and statistics. As a consequence, residents trained today lack skills crucial for evolution into independent researchers or leaders. Many of our former residents and most current urology luminaries attain dual degrees such as an MBA, MPH or MS. It is our belief such training is best initiated earlier in the education trajectory and fellowships should focus on specialty training.
The aim of this additional training year is to expose the resident to basic principles of clinical research, health services, and health policy taking advantage of UVa Schools of Business, Law, Government and Public Health. Although the resident will be allowed to pursue an individualized curriculum with coursework in the UVa School of Law and/or Darden Business School, this year is not intended to result in a JD or MBA. Such full degrees are often unnecessary yet a basic introduction to topics or skills in such programs could offer tremendous benefit to academic leaders. If a conferred degree is expected as a result of this training year, it will be a Masters of Public Health or a Masters of Science in Clinical Research. We anticipate that this resident will be stimulated by the exposure to pursue further academic training at the conclusion of residency.