Physician Researchers

As academic medical centers move toward managed patient care and away from their original academic missions, more people like myself are left to ask why we trained all of those years. As described in your recent April 3, 2000 issue,1 physician-scientists, and especially M.D.-Ph.D.-trained researchers, are leaving the bench for the bedside. Out of an MSTP class of 10, approximately 25 percent of my fellow graduates will continue in research. Why, you may ask?

We have watched the grant roller coaster for too long, and many have decided not to get on it. We have watched as clinical departments pushed junior faculty into clinical responsibilities, often against their will. We decided that we should cut our losses early in our careers rather than face burnout trying to start a lab. Until academic medical centers can offer the kind of professional support needed to allow us to make...

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