Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

   Internal Medicine Residency Program

Life Changing Residency





Leadership and Discovery Program (LEAD)

The LEAD program was implemented in 2012 as a formal component of our Internal Medicine Residency Training Program. It was designed in response to a desire by our residents for a more structured program to help them develop the knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement academic projects. Its objective is to enhance resident opportunities for discovery and future leadership in the field of medicine through a structured, three-year program to augment research, develop critical appraisal skills, and support self-directed scholarship in five tracks. By fostering the skills necessary to carry out a scholarly project, residents are expected by the end of their third year of training to present their project at a local, regional, or national meeting; A stretch goal of this program is to publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal. Click here to view a list of publications authored by our graduates from 2014 through 2017.

Tracks and Expectations for the LEAD Program

To maximize flexibility in meeting the career needs and interests of our trainees, residents are encouraged to identify a project within one of five tracks. Each track has one or more dedicated faculty leaders who are available to help residents identify suitable projects and mentors, and a clear set of programmatic expectations to be accomplished during the three years of residency training.

Tracks and Programmatic Expectations for the LEAD Program

(Faculty Leaders)

Programmatic Expectations

Basic or clinical research
(Alison Morris and Jessica Bon )

Completion of a written scientific protocol and on-line IRB application, with submission of research results for presentation at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day and a regional or national scientific meeting. Submitting a peer review publication is a stretch goal.

Quality improvement
(Gary Fischer)

Completion of a written QI project proposal, with project implementation, and a written project evaluation in a final report, poster, or oral presentation of results at a relevant local, regional, or national medical meeting. Submitting a peer review publication is a stretch goal.

Medical education
(Carla Spagnoletti)

Completion of a written educational project proposal, with curriculum development and implementation and a plan for evaluation, summarized in a final report or presentation of the findings at a regional or national medical meeting. Submitting a peer review publication is a stretch goal.

Medical humanities
(Robert Arnold and Julie Childers)

Completion of a written project proposal, with a written final report of the findings or presentation of these findings at a regional or national medical meeting. Submitting a creative writing piece or peer review publication is a stretch goal.


Resident Milestones for the LEAD Program


□ Identify a Track
□ Identify a project and a mentor(s)
□ Create a 1-2 page project proposal by April 15th


□  Obtain IRB approval or exemption (if applicable)
□  Regular project meetings with mentor(s)
□ Presentation of findings at Department of Medicine research day and appropriate regional or
    national meeting(s)


□  Regular project meetings with mentor(s)
□  Presentation of findings at Department of Medicine Research Day and appropriate regional or
     national meeting(s)
□  Completion of a final report, creative writing piece, or published peer review paper (stretch


Components of the LEAD Program

  • Mentorship – The LEAD program creates opportunities for mentorship by senior faculty from the Department of Medicine and other Schools in the Health Sciences – we consider this mentorship critically important for career development and professional success. We have developed a multifaceted approach to help incoming interns identify and ultimately be paired with an appropriate faculty mentor. If an incoming intern is a part of a specific research tract (research pathway, clinical scientist training program, or international scholars program), then his or her track director will assist them in finding an appropriate mentor. If not a part of a specific track, then the LEAD Program Directors, LEAD track directors, and/or resident advisors will assist interns in finding a mentor. We also maintain a readily accessible online directory of potential faculty mentors for each Division in the Department of Medicine, outlining each faculty member's key interests and projects suitable for resident involvement Click here. This directory also identifies the faculty members responsible for Divisional research and fellowship training, who can assist interns in identifying mentors. Finally, in the late Fall of each year, we hold a lunch session for all interns to meet with potential mentors and brainstorm about project ideas.
  • Scholarship – By pairing residents with appropriate faculty mentors, the LEAD program provides a unique opportunity for residents to begin working on "shovel-ready" projects that range from basic research to creative writing. This mentored scholarship helps residents become independent thinkers, exposes them to important aspects of medicine not learned through clinical rotations, and allows them to present their findings on an appropriate local, regional, or national stage. These experiences expand resident opportunities for fellowship training and pave exciting career pathways for our residents.

  • Research Training – Residents who are interested in obtaining more in-depth knowledge and training in research design and methods are encouraged to take advantage of Divisional and Departmental research seminars and classes and formal degree programs offered through the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE).

For additional information about the LEAD program, please contact Dr. Michael Fine(LEAD Program Director) or Dr. Alison Morris (LEAD Program Associate Director).