This mixed methods, exploratory sequential study led by principal investigator Jeffrey Katz, MD, is designed to understand the influence of medical school teaching and learning environment on the training choices and outcomes of medical students since these decisions can influence career intentions regarding an academic research track. This longitudinal study characterizes the individual, institutional, and sociocultural factors involved in pursing an academic research track among medical scholars (students, trainees, young faculty) at various academic stages, with particular attention to the experiences of scholars who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM).

The two-stage design began with qualitative focus groups. Our research team coded the data from the focus groups and used a thematic analysis to inform the results. The quantitative baseline surveys were distributed to a Harvard Medical School cohort of first- and second-year medical students. The next iteration of the survey will be distributed to the study cohort after they begin their third and fourth year. The surveys are part of a longitudinal study that seeks to examine the factors that are involved in medical student career-decision making, especially as it relates to an academic research career.

Both components will be integrated to provide a comprehensive understanding of the involvement of medical scholars on an academic track that includes biomedical or public health research.