Physician Scientist Training Program - FAQs

If one is currently in a residency training program, when is the optimum time to apply for a position in the PSTP?
The best time to apply is when you have made a firm decision to pursue post-residency training in a clinical fellowship program that is geared and committed to preparing individuals for careers as physician scientists.

Must I formally enroll in graduate school during the research component of my fellowship?
No, however selected graduate school courses may be audited during the training period.

Do I need to be nominated for the PSTP?
Yes, we request that the chairperson of the department in which you will train write a nominating letter.

Is prior laboratory-based research experience a prerequisite for admission?
No, however, the lack of any prior research experience will make it more difficult for the selection committee to evaluate the individual's commitment to a career in biomedical research.

Can the research time be broken up into three - six month blocks?
No. With the exception of the time required for clinical activities by subspecialty boards, fellows are expected to have uninterrupted research time.

Are fellows allowed to moonlight during the research years of their training?
This decision will be made by the fellowship director and the scientific mentor. In general, moonlighting is discouraged.

Are fellows required to obtain a Texas medical license?
All fellows involved in direct patient care are required to obtain a permit from the Texas Medical Board. The permit is very restrictive and does not allow the individual to work outside of the training program. If moonlighting is an option, a Texas medical license is a requirement.

How much clinical work is allowed during the period of research training?
Clinical activities should be severely restricted, but not abandoned, during the research years. The precise amount of time that fellows are allowed to engage in clinical activities will vary by the subspecialty and will be determined and agreed on prior to the start of the research experience.

Will fellows receive health care coverage?
Yes, the UT Southwestern group insurance options will be available to fellows enrolled in the PSTP.