Pediatric Injury Research Training Program
Injury is the leading cause of death and acquired disability among children and adolescents in the United States. From a societal perspective, injury is the most expensive medical problem in the U.S., with treatment costs exceeding those for heart conditions and cancer. Like many other complex social problems, injury is disproportionately distributed, with marked disparities in incidence and outcome contributing to overall inequities in population health to the disadvantage of children living in poor, minority or rural communities. Reduction of the burden of injuries requires research and intervention by well-trained investigators, of whom there is currently a shortage. The Pediatric Injury Research Training Program is designed to address this need.
The concept of "injury control research" encompasses not only the primary prevention of injuries, but also the acute and chronic care of the injured child and his or her subsequent rehabilitation; this applies to both intentional (assault or self-harm) and unintentional injuries. These areas have traditionally been divided among public health, surgery, and rehabilitation, respectively. We view this as an interdisciplinary problem in which prevention is not always successful, leading to an injury requiring optimal trauma care to minimize risk of death and disability, followed by rehabilitation to maximize the child's potential and return to the community.
The goal of the Training Program is to create and sustain a corps of interdisciplinary-trained investigators who will conduct rigorous research on ways to reduce the toll from injuries. The specific aims of this training program are to: (1) Recruit outstanding fellows from a national applicant pool with attention to diversity in clinical and academic backgrounds, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and gender. (2) Provide trainees with a well-balanced curriculum in injury control and theory along with methodologic skills in research (especially biostatistics, epidemiology, health economics and health services) and an introduction to non-clinical disciplines important to interdisciplinary research. (3) Foster a training environment with mentors who not only provide practical and relevant research experience but also serve as role models for the trainee as teachers, researchers, and clinicians and can assist the fellow with placement beyond the trainee program to support career development.
There are 5 components to the training: (1) Formal didactic courses to fill gaps in prior academic training to conduct research in injury control and to provide exposure to disciplines relevant to injury research. (2) Attendance at fellowship-sponsored seminars including weekly small group research seminars, a 12-week Biomedical Integrity in Research Seminar Series, a seminar series on behavior and health, formal training in scientific writing, and formal training in grant writing. (3) Opportunity to attend the annual national injury control meeting and one other national meeting focused on a discipline in their primary research area. (4) In depth research training in an active, on-going research program at one of the training units with mentoring from an interdisciplinary group of faculty at the UW and its collaborating sites. (5) Development and implementation of research projects in injury research, supervised by one or more of the core faculty mentors, to achieve the following goals: a. To develop the research skills necessary to initiate a career as an independent investigator in injury control research. b. To develop expertise in a focused area of injury control research.
The Training Program is two years long, with the option of a third year for exceptionally productive trainees. A Master of Public Health or Master of Science degree is available as part of the Training Program. Post-doctoral level scholars are welcome from all health professions, and specialties within those professions including pediatrics, surgery, urology, emergency medicine, anesthesia/critical care, psychiatry, psychology, epidemiology, health services, public health, social work, and nursing. The program involves faculty from the UW Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Social Work, Nursing, and the Department of Psychology in the UW School of Arts and Sciences.