To increase the number of physician-scientists in research, the Drug Abuse Research Training (DART) program at the Medical University of South Carolina offers a 2-year research track for psychiatry residents and a 10-week summer fellowship for students. The goal of this study was to examine program outcomes and alumni diversity levels over DART’s 15-year history.
To date, 215 trainees (44 residents, 171 summer fellows) have completed the program. An anonymous online survey was sent to the 143 program alumni with valid contact information. Survey data included demographic characteristics, post-program research involvement, and self-reported barriers to continued research engagement.
Overall survey completion response was 83.5% (N = 122). The alumni included 59.0% women, and 36.1% of respondents identified as a member of a minority racial/ethnic group. Following program completion, 77.0% of the alumni reported continued research involvement. More than half of the alumni reported scientific publications (57.4%) and conference presentations (63.1%) since completing DART. Among respondents who did not subsequently engage in research, the most common modifiable barriers included difficulty finding a mentor, self-perceived deficits in statistical skills and research methodology, and overall lack of confidence in research ability.
Over the past 15 years, the DART program has established a diverse research training program that now spans the educational spectrum from undergraduate to residency training. Future program goals include additional training to address self-reported modifiable research barriers. This program provides a model for other training programs designed to cultivate research interests and promote the diversity of clinical researchers.
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The authors wish to thank Drs. Thomas Uhde, Ed Kantor, Jeffery Korte, and Hugh Myrick as well as Ms. Tanjanika Shivers at MUSC for their support for the DART program.
Funding was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grants (R25 DA020537, K12DA031794, K23 DA039328-01A1, UG1 DA013727, U54 DA016511) and the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (R01 AA025086).
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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Jones, J.L., Barth, K.S., Brown, D.G. et al. The Drug Abuse Research Training (DART) Program for Psychiatry Residents and Summer Fellows: 15-Year Outcomes. Acad Psychiatry 46, 317–324 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-022-01593-5