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MD/PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences and Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

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PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT This proposal seeks support for an MD/PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Alzheimer?s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) centered at the University of Chicago (UC) in partnership with Rush University (RU). The program builds on strengths at the two institutions in Alzheimer?s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD), the social sciences, and interdisciplinary research and its integration into the professions, including the training of MD/PhD students with PhDs in the Social Sciences. The proposed program will produce MD/PhD graduates trained in medicine, a social science or related profession (Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Comparative Human Development, Public Health Sciences, Business, Public Policy, and Social Work), and interdisciplinary approaches to aging research with a focus on AD/ADRD. AD/ADRD research training areas will include the epidemiology of AD/ADRD; the content, organization, and financing of care for persons with dementia; behavioral, health system and community interventions aimed at the prevention, early identification, and treatment of AD/ADRD; the care workforce and roles of formal and informal caregivers in health outcomes for persons with AD/ADRD; and methodological issues prominent in AD/ADRD research. The proposed approach to training builds on UC?s 30-year history of national leadership in training MD/PhDs in the social sciences through the Medicine, Social Sciences and Humanities (MeSH) program. UC?s training record has been exceptional, training more MD/PhDs in the social sciences than any other institution with exceptional placement and scientific impact in aging and AD/ADRD research. MD/PhD applicants will be able to apply to the program through one of three tracks: 1) the Pritzker School of Medicine Track, in which students apply simultaneously to the MD and PhD programs at UC; 2) the Rush Medical College (RMC) Track, in which students apply simultaneously to the MD program at RMC and PhD programs at UC; 3) the National Track, in which students at any U.S. medical school may apply to PhD programs at UChicago. The proposed program also benefits from the exceptional clinical and research expertise at RU in AD/ADRD, and RU?s participation expands local medical school options for trainees interested in research careers in AD/ADRD and earning a social science PhD from UC. The National Track pathway will also continue to further expand the pool of potential candidates eligible for the program by recruiting students from across the U.S., which we expect to especially help in expanding recruitment of minority trainees. Institutional support will allow us to matriculate 3 PSOM or RMC track students and at least 3 National Track students over the course of the award. Trainees? focus on AD/ADRD research will be enhanced by their participation in relevant coursework, clinical experiences, and seminars in which they present their work to their colleagues and program leaders.Each trainee will be supervised by an interdisciplinary mentorship team including at least 1 MD/PhD in the Social Sciences, 1 NIA-funded AD/ADRD researcher, and 1 practicing geriatrician.
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