Addressing the physician-scientist pipeline: Strategies to integrate research into clinical training programsedit
Introduction Physician-scientists are critical members of the biomedical workforce. Thecombination of rigorous scientific training and clinical skills uniquely positions them tobridge clinical needs with investigational pursuits by identifying important clinical questionsthat drive basic discoveries and translating those into therapeutics that improve patientoutcomes. The impact of physician-scientists on biomedical science has been profound.Indeed, the recipients of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, William Kaelin Jr.,Gregg Semenza, and Peter Ratcliffe, are all physician-scientists. Furthermore, physician-scientists have been well represented as Nobel laureates (including Frederick Banting, CarlCori, Earl Sutherland, Alfred Gilman, Michael Brown, Joseph Goldstein, Bernardo Houssay,Edwin Krebs, Peter Agre, Harold Varmus, Robert Lefkowitz, Brian Kobilka, and RalphSteinman, to name a few). Yet, as the need for novel therapies has grown, the number ofphysician-scientists has declined (1). The reasons for this decline are numerous, includinglength and cost of clinical training, declining funding opportunities, reduced visibility ofphysician-scientist role models, and compensation disparities between academic andprivate practice careers. Residency, fellowship training, and entry into faculty — importantentry points for budding physician-scientists and a period of continuity for those who wish tobuild on their earlier research experiences — are critical junctures where attrition occursalong the physician-scientist training timeline (2–5).