As part of its commitment to increasing the pipeline of physicians pursuing careers in clinical research, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation launched the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship (CRF) Program for medical students in 2000. The program, which is based at 10 US medical schools, provides medical students from any US medical school with the opportunity to spend 1 year obtaining both didactic and “hands-on” mentored clinical research experience. This article describes the program and summarizes the early outcomes collected during the first 3.5 years of the program. Interest in the program among medical students has been robust and widespread, with 35% of CRF program fellows matriculated at non-CRF schools. Exit surveys of the first three classes of fellows totaling 174 fellows indicated that (1) 97% of the fellows felt that participating in the fellowship was a good decision; (2) commitment to a career in clinical research was increased among the 44% of fellows reporting that they were unsure about pursuing a clinical research career when they began their fellowship; (3) there was no difference in satisfaction level between the fellows who remained at the medical schools in which they were matriculated and those who completed their fellowship at a medical school in which they were not matriculated; and (4) the majority of fellows responded that the didactic component of their fellowship was useful.
- clinical research
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