Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Addendum: The disappointing Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group Report

This comment (written by "William S.") from the discussion of the Physician-Scientist Workforce report on the NIH Rock Talk blog is worth posting because it seconds the point I made in the post immediately prior to this one and perhaps better fleshes out my critique:
From the perspective of the trainee, there are really only two issues relevant to this discussion: career opportunities – (i.e. will I be able to find an appropriate research position when my training is finished?), and career longevity – (i.e. is there a reasonable chance I will still have my lab in 10+ years?). If the answer to either of these questions is no, then attempting to encourage physicians to pursue research careers, through whatever mechanism, is not only misguided but disingenuous. . . . .
If, for whatever reason, the NIH and/or other powers that be feel that current numbers are inadequate for sustaining a robust biomedical work force (and I agree with this assessment) then the focus should not be the individual, but rather system wide, institutional, issues that deter and demoralize highly motivated physicians from choosing this career path. These individuals are generally quite smart and can see the landscape as well as (or perhaps better than) the PSW working group.