Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluative Sciences Research

Health Services Fellowship

The goal of the T32 AHRQ Fellowship Program is to train post-residency physicians to conduct methodologically rigorous health services research in a multidisciplinary environment. The two-year training program requires participation in a formal didactic curriculum consisting of courses and seminars that are designed to provide both foundations and skills in clinical epidemiology and health services research. In addition, trainees continue to participate in a series of multidisciplinary conferences and methodology meetings, as well as interact in their own weekly seminar, working with each other and devoting effort to their own respective research projects. In accordance with program objectives, each trainee has begun to integrate his/her knowledge and skills to design and conduct his/her own original research project with the close supervision of the participating faculty.

Our strengths have been developing trainees to perform question-driven research in an area of their own interest, recruiting minority candidates, and requiring completion of a Master's Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research. The program fosters the development of new investigators who become independent researchers, using methodologically rigorous approaches to address important health issues. Another strength of our program has been our multidisciplinary faculty with expertise in the basic sciences of clinical research, specifically in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, economics, decision sciences, and behavioral sciences. New York Presbyterian Hospital also participates and collaborates with our program in areas of patient safety and quality improvement.

Our fellowship has an outstanding track record of training investigators from a broad spectrum of medical specialties. Overall, our graduates have published over 400 papers, 73% have appointments in academic centers, 18% work in applied settings (industry or public health), and 8% are in private practice. The total funding on grants on which they are either principal investigators or co-principal investigators is $52,629,926. Our graduates have received funding from multiple sources including the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, the New York State Department of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, the Hartford Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Institute.

Our program recruits individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and we have an outstanding record of recruiting and retaining minority candidates with 32% of our 40 past and current fellows being African American or Latino. Of our former 40 fellows, 12 are African American or Latino; specifically 8 are African American women, 2 are Latino women and 2 are African American men. Of our 5 current fellows, 1 (20%) is an African American man. The fellows participate in the core courses of the Master of Science Program in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research which is based in the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

The curriculum is designed to provide fellows with the conceptual and theoretical background and the practical knowledge and skills necessary to conduct interdisciplinary health services research. The courses are designed to give the participants a solid grasp of the fundamentals of conceptual and theoretical principals underlying health services, behavioral and clinical research. Fellows learn how and when to apply different research designs, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. They are educated on the use of existing measures, development of surveys and creation new measures to collect their own data. They are trained in computer programming and skills to analyze their own data, including basic and advanced biostatistics techniques. They are taught informatics skills to effectively access secondary data, decision analysis and economic analyses, including cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis. They also examine the importance of adapting methods to different cultures and the importance of responsible conduct of research.

Research: AHRQ designates several priority areas for clinical research. During their fellowship training, fellows conduct research in these diverse priority areas which include:
  1. Translating Research into Practice and Policy
  2. Patient Safety and Information Transfer
  3. Quality Improvement
  4. Patient-centered Care and Education
  5. Healthcare Disparities

Fellows Projects: Past and Present

Weekly Seminar

Advanced Seminar and Health Services Research - The Advanced Seminar is designed to guide, support, and exchange ideas between fellows and their mentors. Fellows are given several opportunities to present on the various steps of their research project. Presentation topics include identifying a focused topic, developing their objective, hypothesis, background and significance of a question and outlining their methods. In subsequent seminars, the fellows' presentations include updates and timelines of their research projects. Thus, in this seminar, the fellows refine and develop their own projects, while critiquing and helping their colleagues in their projects. This provides the opportunity for the fellows to learn from each other's experiences.

Biweekly Conferences

Research Methodology Conference - The objective of this conference is to review problems with design and conduct of studies. The course operates as a "think tank" on issues, and includes a full meeting of a multidisciplinary group consisting of clinical epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health educators, health services researchers, health economists, data systems experts, psychologists and cooperating investigators. This conference has been approved for Cotinuing Medical Education accreditation.

Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine Conference - The objective of this conference is for Center faculty, collaborating investigators, and outside visiting scientists to present various research projects or reviews of the literature relevant to integrative medicine. These conferences provide fellows with the opportunity to hear about diverse research areas in the field. This conference has also been approved for Continuing Medical Education accreditation.

Health Services Research Journal Club - This weekly journal club is led by our fellows. Each week the fellows lead a discussion of recent literature on methods to improve safety and quality, including approaches to patient-centered care. The sessions provide the chance to review and debate results in recent literature.


Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluative Sciences Research
Mary E. Charlson, MD, Director
Suzan Toro, Administrator
1300 York Avenue, Box #46
New York, NY 10065
Tel: (646) 962-5060
Fax: (646) 962-0620
[email protected]

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