The Oliver Langenberg Physician Scientist Training Pathway in the Department of Medicine is intended to train physicians for a career in academic medicine.

The key objectives for the pathway are:

  • To develop a flexible program of combined clinical and research training which addresses each trainee’s particular needs.
  • To link trainees during residency with a postgraduate research mentor to facilitate the transition from clinical to basic science training. The program’s affiliation with the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University provides depth and breadth of potential research interests.

Participants in the program may avail themselves of the Clinician-Investigator Pathway (i.e. short-tracking) as defined by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  Applicants who are eligible include trainees with both MD and PhD degrees, and MD’s with a Master’s degree and/or those with other substantial research experience will be considered.

Application to the Physician-Scientist Program is made by filing out an application supplementary to that for the residency program. A letter from the applicant’s Ph.D. mentor is required.


  • Length of Program:  6-7 years
  • Access to top notch medical and laboratory facilities
  • Program Structure:
    • Clinical Training/ Internal Medicine Training: Trainees will complete their internship and junior resident years within the Categorical Internal Medicine Training Program. Trainees are highly encouraged to participate in the American Board of Internal Medicine Clinical Investigator Track (i.e., short-track) and begin their subspecialty fellowship training during their third post-graduate year (PGY3) in lieu of their senior resident year in Internal Medicine. Trainees pursuing a career in academic dermatology will complete their PGY1 year within the Internal Medicine Training Program before embarking on their clinical training in dermatology.
    • Clinical Fellowship Training: Trainees will complete the required clinical subspecialty training as outlined by their subspecialty colleges. This typically entails one year of clinical fellowship.  Each trainee is guaranteed acceptance into any fellowship program of their choice.
    • Research Training: The selection of an appropriate post-doctoral training environment is critical to the success of the trainee. To assist in this critical selection process, trainees will have the opportunity to attend annual retreats offered by each Department and Research Program within the Graduate Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. Trainees can complete their post-doctoral research training in any laboratory at Washington University.
    • Coursework: Trainees can enroll in or audit courses offered through the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences covering every aspect of contemporary biomedical research. All trainees will enroll in an Ethics in Biomedical Research course required by the National Institutes of Health. Additional coursework will be coordinated on an individual basis.
    • Seminar Series: Trainees will participate in three seminar series focused on research in medicine. 1. Seminar Series in Molecular Medicine: This series will be centered on reviews of recent developments in molecular medicine. In addition, senior trainees will discuss their research at this monthly forum. 2. Discussion of Medical Research: Conjoint seminar series with the MD-PhD (MSTP) program in which faculty members at Washington University discuss their research programs and career paths. 3. Annual PSTP Retreat: Senior trainees will present their work at the annual PSTP Retreat.

In addition, trainees are invited to attend the weekly Seminar Series offered by the various programs within the Graduate Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.

Application Process

Eligible applicants include graduates with a combined MD-PhD degree or a MD degree and a strong record of basic science research experience. Applicants must fulfill all eligibility requirements for the Categorical Internal Medicine Training Program. The most competitive candidates will have a strong commitment to a research career in academic medicine and an outstanding academic record.

Candidates must apply and be accepted to the Categorical Internal Medicine Training Program at Washington University. The supplemental PSTP application should be concurrently submitted delineating the candidates’ research commitment, accomplishments, clinical and research interests and career plans. A recommendation letter from the applicant’s PhD mentor or research supervisor is required. Interviews and acceptance of candidates will be carried out concurrently with their application and match for the Categorical Internal Medicine Training Program.

Financial Support & Salaries

Trainees are guaranteed funding for their clinical years and three years of post-doctoral research. Senior trainees are encouraged to obtain additional funding to facilitate their subsequent transition to their first academic position. Trainees will receive additional funds to assist their career development that include:

  • Year 1 (Internship) – $3,000 for the purchase of a computer, software, journals and library access.
  • Years 2 and 3 (Junior resident & clinical fellowship) – $2,000/ year for travel to national meetings or purchase of software, journals and library access.
  • Years 4, 5 and 6 (Laboratory years) – $16,000/ year supplement to salary.