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Fighting for Preservation of the Physician-Scientist: Solutions

Leon Rosenberg proposes that:

  • Academia establish a more supportive environment. "The students hear nothing but how hard it is to get research money and the time to do research," Rosenberg says. He wants to change the way students, deans, department chairs, hospital CEOs, and others involved in medical training think. Our "words and actions should underscore the value we place on the research contributions physician-scientists make," he says.

  • Training programs be expanded. NIH has already shown some steps in the right direction by implementing new training grants for physician-scientists (the K23 and K24 awards).

  • A national network of clinical research units be created to foster collaboration and bring more visibility to clinical research.

  • Foundations expand the range of training opportunities and awards for young physician-researchers. He cites the Pfizer Corp. as a model. Pfizer is spending $1.5 million to support medical students who spend a year at NIH to conduct research.

  • A national database of physician-scientists be developed and maintained to track medical students entering research training and physician-scientists needed in various sectors.

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