First came the talk about a trend: Fewer physicians are entering biomedical research. Now come the data: results from a study published in February by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).1

"Opportunities for applying research results to patients have never been greater. At the same time, the number of physician-scientists who can carry out that kind of translational research is declining significantly," comments Kenneth Shine, president of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies.

Another report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) published last November also draws attention to the problem.2 However, the AAMC/AMA report focuses on clinical research, studies that involve physical contact with patients. The FASEB report goes one step further to include the physician-scientist doing basic research, fundamental investigations that do not focus directly on patients or their diseases.

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