Apgar Scholars Program

Our mission is to train physicians to be institutional leaders

We wish to continue to attract students who want to be superb physicians—the clinical training at Columbia is second to none given the case mix of the medical center across all subdisciplines of anesthesiology. In addition to clinical training, a major component of our mission is to train physicians not only for private practice anesthesiology, pain management, and intensive care medicine, but to be cutting edge master clinicians and institutional leaders within the academic medical center. To that end, in November 2002 we instituted the Virginia Apgar Scholars Program for medical students who know they want to remain in academic medicine—and to enter either clinical subspecialty or research fellowships (including our NIH T32 program) following residency.

As an Apgar Scholar, you will:

  • Work with an identified mentor either within the Department or outside the Department who will provide you with scientific leadership and advice to focus your research or subspecialty training goals

  • Obtain the training necessary to build a successful career in academic anesthesiology

  • Receive financial support for your research project

  • Spend an additional two years in research or subspecialty fellowship training following your residency.

  • Attend the annual departmental research retreat where ongoing research opportunities are presented

  • Attend the annual Apgar Society Day and Dinner (moderated by a successful physician-scientist)

  • Become a member of the Apgar Society—currently consisting of the 40 current and previous Apgar Scholars who since its inception in 2002 have preceded you in this program.  These previous Apgar Scholars are now reaching independence and academic maturity and provide a cohort of collegial peers to support your own career aspirations through advice, recognition, help and friendship.

How to Apply

Application to the Apgar Scholars Program does not require previous research experience, but it does require evidence of an interest and commitment to development as an academic physician-scientist. The Scholars program does not focus upon pre-existing accomplishments but creates a nurturing mentoring environment for those with a passion for future discovery. The department supports an expanded research horizon: basic science, clinical research, epidemiologic and population research, and health services delivery/policy research—so there is a breadth and depth to the kind of research that you can do at Columbia. During the early residency years we encourage exploration into novel and important unanswered biomedical questions and the identification of mentor(s) appropriate to one’s area of interest.

Since the two categorical tracks have separate rank order lists, an applicant may apply to one of the two tracks or to both tracks. We will not require two separate ERAS applications for the two tracks, but in order to identify yourself as being interested in applying for the Apgar Scholars track, you should mention this in your personal statement.

If you are interested in becoming an Apgar scholar you will need to indicate your preference by the program order on your rank order list. Rank the Apgar Scholars Program (Program #1495040C1) above our regular categorical residency program (Program #1495040C0) if you want to be a resident in our program regardless of the track but prefer to be matched as an Apgar scholar.

Program Contacts

For further information on the Apgar Scholars Program contact:

Charles Emala, MD
Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of Anesthesiology and Vice Chair for Research
Department of Anesthesiology
Columbia University
622 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
Phone: 212-305-8360
Email: cwe5@cumc.columbia.edu