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The AAIM Physician-Scientist Initiative seeks to identify, develop, and implement substantive and practical solutions that will ensure the survival, growth, and diversity of the physician-scientist workforce. Persistent and increasing challenges exist in attracting and retaining physician investigators (PIs) in academic medical centers and other research venues.AAIM Residency Research Pathways Directors Summit held March 22–23, 2017
An interactive summit for identifying best practices and continuous improvement strategies for physician-scientist training programs.
Nearly 50 directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) research pathways, leaders in academic medicine, late-stage trainees, and recent graduates participated in identifying best practices and continuous improvement strategies in key areas for accredited physician-scientist training programs. These outcomes are being developed into recommendations that will be published here and in print.
In recognition of the persistent and increasing challenges in attracting and retaining physician investigators (PIs) in academic medical centers and other research venues (“physician-scientists—an endangered species” Wyngaarden, 1979), there is widespread agreement within the biomedical research community that there needs to be renewed assessment of the factors that threaten this critically important career pathway as well as the development of ways to revitalize the PI workforce.
In November 2007, APM hosted the first consensus conference on the physician-scientist workforce: “Revitalization of the Nation’s Physician Scientist Workforce”
In an attempt to broaden the scope of this “call to action” across multiple medical disciplines, a second consensus conference sponsored by APM and the AAMC was held in 2008 in San Antonio, TX: “The Physician-Scientist Workforce: A Workshop for Clinical Faculty Leaders.”
In response to growing concerns about existing NIH support for physician scientists, Director Francis Collins charged a Physician Scientist Workforce Working Group to assess the current mechanisms of career support and make recommendations for improvement. In June, 2014, the working group issued its report with a series of recommendations which urged NIH to sustain strong training of MD-PhDs; shift the balance in postdoctoral training for physicians; continue to address the gap in award rates between new and established investigators; and adopt rigorous tools to assess the strength of the biomedical workforce including PIs.
With the goal of stimulating a vigorous, ongoing national dialogue on the factors which threaten the physician-investigator workforce, the Alliance developed a Third Consensus Conference on the PI Workforce, entitled “Re-examining the Physician Investigator Workforce: New and Evolving Areas of Research and Pathways to Success in Academic Institutions.” Participants assessed the current environment in which academic medical centers develop the careers of PIs, and sought innovative solutions (beyond federal funding) to overcome existing challenges so as to maintain and expand a vigorous workforce. The working group issued its report with a series of recommendations which urged NIH to sustain strong training of MD-PhDs; shift the balance in postdoctoral training for physicians; continue to address the gap in award rates between new and established investigators; and adopt rigorous tools to assess the strength of the biomedical workforce including PIs.
AAMC-APM ForumExecutive Summary of the AAMC-APM Forum, “The Physician-Scientist Workforce: A Workshop for Clinical Faculty Leaders”
APM Physician-Scientist Initiative: Recommendations for Revitalizing the Nation's Physician-Scientist Workforce