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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
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Physician-Scientist Training Program

The Department of Medicine’s Physician-Scientist Training Program at the Feinberg School of Medicine focuses on the transition period from graduation with an MD or combined MD/PhD degree to appointment to a full-time academic position as a physician-scientist. Beyond training in the Categorical Internal Medicine Training Program at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, trainees accepted into the program will be guaranteed a position in the fellowship program of any of the 11 clinical divisions in the Department of Medicine and a minimum of $75,000 of support during clinical and research training. The program is co-directed by Ben Singer, MD, and chair of medicine, Douglas Vaughan, MD.

Learn more about the program via the sections below.


This program is designed for individuals who are entering internship with either a combined MD/PhD degree or an MD degree with a record of intensive research experience. Graduates from non-U.S. medical schools are welcome to apply. Successful applicants will exhibit commitment to a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist.

 Current PSTP Scholars

View the current PSTP Scholars' profiles and learn more about their research and career interests.

 Program Structure

Program Advisor

As the needs of each trainee are unique, trainees will be appointed a program advisor at the beginning of their internship year to develop an individualized training program. The program advisors, who are successful physician-scientists, will meet regularly with trainees to assist with major decisions, such as subspecialty choice, selection of a research advisor and additional didactic training.

Clinical Training - Internal Medicine Training

Trainees participate in the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway, which allows completion of internal medicine training in two years and initiation of subspecialty fellowship training during the PGY-3 year. As per ABIM requirements, 24 months of direct patient care responsibility will be performed. Training at Northwestern provides the opportunity to care for a diverse patient base and interact with our numerous and talented clinical faculty members. Clinical rotations will encompass both inpatient and outpatient rotations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and VA Chicago. A laboratory rotation during the PGY-1 or PGY-2 year may also be possible.

Clinical Training - Clinical Fellowship Training

Applicants will fulfill the required clinical fellowship training as determined by their subspecialty board. This is typically one year of intensive clinical training with maintenance of a subspecialty clinic during subsequent years.

Research Training

Research training can be completed under the mentorship of any faculty member at Northwestern University. Applicants will be encouraged to interview potential research advisors before or early during their clinical fellowship training. Final selection of a research advisor will be made with the assistance of the program advisor. During research training, a advising committee consisting of the program advisor, research advisor and at least one other faculty member knowledgeable in the chosen area of research will be formed to assess the trainee and ensure progress towards independence.

There is a tremendously broad range of potential research advisors available to PSTP participants. Northwestern University received over $338 million in NIH research funding in FY16, almost $57 million in the Department of Medicine alone. To learn more about the research interests of Department of Medicine faculty, visit individual faculty profiles, as well as the research interests of faculty throughout the medical school who mentor graduate students in the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences.

To support research activities, Feinberg has a Housestaff Research Portal available.

Didactic Training/Seminars

Depending on the needs and interests of trainees, additional didactic training is available during years three through six of the program. Trainees will be able to audit courses offered by the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences. All trainees will participate in the Ethics in Biomedical Research Course required by the National Institutes of Health, the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation or the Master of Public Health.

Beyond participation in the numerous seminar series available through the medical school, trainees will participate in activities designed for the Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP). These include a bimonthly evening seminar series that allows trainees to meet with faculty members to discuss topics in molecular medicine and other issues related to biomedical research and career development as physician-scientists. Interested residents, fellows and Medical Scientist Training Program students are also invited to attend. An annual meeting of PSTP participants will be held to allow senior trainees to discuss their research projects.

 Financial Support

Trainees in the Physician-Scientist Training Program are guaranteed support for their clinical training years and three years of research training. Trainees in their research years will be encouraged, with the support of their research mentor, to seek outside support to help facilitate their transition to independence. In addition to salary support for postgraduate years one through six as stipulated by the Office of Graduate Medical Education, the following financial support will be provided to trainees:

Year 1



support for travel to a national meeting, journals, etc.

Year 2

Junior Residency


support for travel to a national meeting, journals, etc.

Year 3

Clinical Fellowship


$7,000 to support for a computer and software, travel to a national meeting, journals, etc.

$4,000 to supplement salary

Year 4-6*



$5,000 to support travel and other expenses

$15,000 to supplement salary

Year 7**



$5,000 to support travel and other expenses

$15,000 to supplement salary

*Year 6 is the final year of the PSTP for Allergy/Immunology, Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Palliative Care, Infectious Disease, Nephrology and Rheumatology. PGY6 positions may be at the clinical instructor level with supplemental support included as part of instructor level compensation.

**Year 7 is the final year for Cardiology, Critical Care/Pulmonary, Hematology/Oncology, and Gastroenterology/Hepatology. For these subspecialties, PGY7 positions may be at the clinical instructor level with supplemental support included as part of instructor-level compensation.

 Application Process

Applicants should apply to the Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP, 2247140C1) of the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University through Electronic Residency Application Service. Applicants may also apply to the Categorical Internal Medicine track (2247140C0) if they would like to be considered for the traditional three-year residency program.

In addition to their application through ERAS, applicants should submit the online PSTP application. If not already included in ERAS, applicants should also submit a letter of recommendation from their principal research mentor. Additional letters to support an applicant and their research potential may also be submitted if desired. The application deadline is November 7, 2020.

Contact Us

For more information, or to submit an application, contact the PSTP co-director Benjamin Singer, MD, or residency program director Aashish Didwania, MD

Benjamin Singer, MD

Program Director, Physician Scientist Training Program

Pulmonary and Critical Care

View Faculty Profile

Aashish K. Didwania, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Program Director - Internal Medicine Residency
Vice Chair - Education

Graduate Education

aashish( at )

View Faculty Profile

Graduate Research Resources

We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and training to help our residents and fellows excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.

Visit the Housestaff Research Portal
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