The Virginia Apgar Scholars Program For the Development of Physician-Scientists

Our Mission is to Train Physicians to be Academic Leaders

Our training programs attract clinical residents and fellows who aspire to be superb physician-scientists.  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 prepare physicians who are both master clinicians and successful scientists in medicine.

In November 2002, we instituted the Virginia Apgar Scholars Program for residency applicants who want careers in academic medicine—and who plan to enter either clinical subspecialty or research fellowships (including our NIH T32 program) following residency.

As an Apgar Scholar, you will

  • Work with identified mentor(s) either within or outside of the Department of Anesthesiology. Your mentors will provide you with scientific and career development guidance 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 additional time in research during and after residency/fellowship training.
  • Attend the annual departmental research retreat, where ongoing research opportunities are presented.
  • Attend the annual Apgar Society Day and Dinner.
  • Become a member of the Apgar Society—currently consisting of the 45 current and previous Apgar Scholars who have preceded you in this program since its inception in 2002. Many have achieved career independence and academic maturity at Columbia and other prestigious academic institutions across the country. The Apgar Society members provide a cohort of collegial peers to support your career aspirations.

How to Apply

Application to the Apgar Scholars Program does not require previous research experience, but it does require evidence of an interest in and commitment to development as an academic physician-scientist. The Apgar Scholars program does not focus on pre-existing accomplishments; it 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 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.

We encourage applications from individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and candidates who come from disadvantaged economic, social, cultural, or educational backgrounds. The College of Physicians and Surgeons has an Office of Diversity that assists with the mission of recruiting, counseling, and nurturing minority students, and Columbia University maintains an Office of Disability Services.

Program Contacts

For more 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