Physician-Scientist Training Program

ABIM Research Pathway

The mission of the Vanderbilt University Internal Medicine Residency is to promote discovery of new biomedical knowledge and translation of this knowledge to patient care through the training and development of physician-scientists. The Vanderbilt Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) is strongly committed to the career development of physician-scientists who utilize the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway to facilitate combined clinical and research training. Training is enhanced by membership in the Harrison Society, a select peer group of physician-scientists in training that facilitates mentoring by Vanderbilt faculty and distinguished visiting professors.

Since 1999, the Vanderbilt PSTP has attracted incoming residents who seek high quality clinical training combined with cutting edge research opportunities and who aspire to become future leaders in academic medicine. 44 alumni have completed the program since its inception.  Currently, 29 residents/fellows representing 20 different medical schools are enrolled in the program.  On average, we matriculate 4-5 new trainees each year.  Two-thirds of our trainees hold combined M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.

Tinsley Randolph Harrison Society

Participants in the Physician-Scientist Training Program will become lifetime members of the Tinsley Randolph Harrison Society, an organization dedicated to the preservation of science in clinical medicine and to the scientific literacy of physicians who use this knowledge at the bedside.  

The Society is named after Tinsley R. Harrison who served as the first Chief Resident in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, and who became one of the premier academic physicians in this country. The Society exists to promote medical research relevant to internal medicine as a career discipline. The purposes of the Society are to benefit and aid the education, research, and patient care missions of its members by holding forums and meetings, and publishing appropriate educational materials approved by its members. The Society also exists to support new initiatives in education, biomedical research, and patient care for the benefit of physicians who practice internal medicine.

The Harrison Society has been the linchpin of my early career.  The program has allowed me to identify myself as both a clinician and an investigator.  More importantly, the society has provided incredible support and guidance from both established mentors and from stellar colleagues, all of whom have been instrumental in helping me learn how to be the best doctor and scientist I can be.  Support, advice, mentorship, critique, validation, camaraderie, true friendship--just some of the benefits of membership in the Harrison Society for which I am most thankful.

Joshua P. Fessel, MD, PhD
Pulmonary/Critical Care


Christine M. Lovly, MD, PhD

The Harrison Society was a major factor in my decision to pursue post-graduate training at Vanderbilt Medical Center. This society integrates rigorous clinical training with outstanding basic science and translational research. At every step of my training, I have benefited from strong peer support from other members of the society as well as critical mentorship from recent graduates of the program. In addition, I have enjoyed the collegial environment at Vanderbilt with enthusiastic faculty and unsurpassed institutional support. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities I have had through the Harrison Society.


Harrison Society Scholars - Participants in the Physician-Scientist Training Program become life-long members of the Harrison Society.

Student Members - Participants in the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training (MD/PhD) Program who are pursuing internal medicine residency training qualify for membership in this category during their last year of medical school.

Honorary Members - Honorary membership in the Harrison Society will be bestowed on visiting professors

Activities and Meetings

Visiting Professorships - Members will convene four times per year on the occasion of visits by distinguished physician-scientists invited to Vanderbilt University by the Society.

Harrison Seminar Series: A monthly meeting will be convened amongst the Society Membership (current scholars and alums). Diverse programming includes selected invited lecturers, research-in-progress, and career development panel discussions. This forum is designed to foster enriched peer-to-peer mentoring and networking - major benefits of societal activities.


Dr. Kimryn Rathmell


W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD

Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry
Interim Chair, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Interim Physician-in-Chief, Vanderbilt University Hospital
Deputy Director for Research Integration and Career Development, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


Executive Secretary

Patrick J. Hu, MD , PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Cancer Biology
Director, Physician-Scientist Training Program
Co-Leader, Cell Signaling Group, Diabetes Research and Training Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Chris Kroege

Program Manager

Chris Kroeger

Physician-Scientist Training Program
Vanderbilt University Medical Center