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Research training in critical care medicine

Pinsky, MR (1998) Research training in critical care medicine. New Horizons: Science and Practice of Acute Medicine, 6 (3). 293 - 299. ISSN 1063-7389

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A primary goal of research training in critical care medicine is to train clinicians to redefine clinical problems in terms of essential biological questions that can be answered through both laboratory and clinical investigation. Critical care medicine, as a subspecialty of anesthesiology, internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery, is uniquely positioned to integrate disparate areas of investigation into a single theme. The current barrier to effective clinical application of basic science research in critically ill patients, even when fully trained intensivists are in place, rests at the basic laboratory level. To the extent that clinicians trained in critical care can become facile in these technologies, the transmission of information from the basic laboratory to the bedside will increase in both efficiency and effectiveness, because the flow of information will be bidirectional. In an established critical care training program, trainees should receive formal instruction through general didactic and an individualized program of coursework and, where appropriate, also including laboratory investigation. The general didactic training program should comprise a core lecture series in critical care medicine that reviews all aspects of medicine and basic science relevant to critical care medicine. This didactic should be supplemented by bedside teaching on the pathophysiology of critical illness in a practical fashion aimed to solidify the bridge between theory and application while highlighting gaps in medical knowledge to be addressed in the remainder of the training program. Trainees should be systematically exposed to all aspects of this research training within the medical center or in relevant centers where collaboration is feasible. Since a primary goal of a critical care medicine training program is to create a durable bridge between clinical practice and basic science investigation, continued and integrated clinical activities (participation in direct patient care, clinical and patient care conferences) should be maintained during the intervals of training in which trainees are focusing primarily on basic science problems and application. A postgraduate research training program in critical care medicine should be as multidisciplinary a program as possible, including input from the training physicians from internal medicine, anesthesiology, and surgery. By definition, critical care medicine is multidisciplinary in its approach. A critical care medicine research training program often spans the broad critical care area by encompassing research projects on several well defined subfoci. In this article, a specific format for a training program is described and its administrative structure is defended. This structure is meant as a template for other centers to modify to fit their own specific strengths and future directions.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pinsky, MRpinsky@pitt.eduPINSKY0000-0001-6166-700X
Date: 1 January 1998
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: New Horizons: Science and Practice of Acute Medicine
Volume: 6
Number: 3
Page Range: 293 - 299
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Critical Care Medicine
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1063-7389
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 09 May 2012 16:08
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 16:55


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