Biomedical science is rapidly evolving with growing emphasis being placed on translational research that brings studies from cellular and animal models into humans. This concept of translational science expands further to include the application of biomedical discoveries in the large academic institutions to the community setting.
The concept of bench-to-bedside science is not new, but the push to expand and implement biomedical discoveries more rapidly is functioning to re-mold the appearance of the research team. Research laboratories are inherently expanding beyond single disciplines to include multi-disciplinary research teams. These teams must be focused on common goals and lead toward a destination that is clinically applicable.
Although biomedical science has many great leaders and visionary investigators, the Physician Scientist is an ideal candidate to lead a research team performing disease-based research. The unique perspective of the MD/PhD can lead the field of translational research by bridging the bedside, the population and the ambulatory clinics with cutting-edge bench-dependent and bench-independent biomedical investigations.
The MD/PhD program at Wake Forest School of Medicine is young, relatively small, diverse and excellent. We emphasize translational research as a means to expand the training options for our matriculating students. Interactions with clinical and scientific mentors ensure that our students will build a professional vision that will guide them toward a successful career. The character traits of our students embody the principles of compassion, passion, perspicacity, energy embedded in a creative mind, and patience.
As so eloquently stated by our previous director, Dr. Charles McCall:
“We aim to foster graduates whose knowledge and experience are both broad and deep, who are emotionally intelligent, who honor the profession, and who can ‘think otherwise’.”