Welcome to the Office of Physician-Scientist Career Development. Physician-scientists are especially well positioned to bring the fruits of basic biomedical research to the bedside. In addition, the scientific opportunities potentially ripe for such translation have never been greater. However, the number of individuals choosing and pursuing a physician-scientist career pathway has declined precipitously over the past two to three decades. This low flow in the physician-scientist pipeline is a major obstacle to the central mission of academic medicine, i.e., to improve human health through advancements in knowledge. Many factors have been discussed as contributing to the problem, for example debt burden, lack of training opportunities for medical student research and for “late bloomers” who become interested in research after residency, perceptions of lifestyle factors and funding uncertainties, selection biases of medical school admission committees, and the appeal of readily available alternative career opportunities. For young physician-scientist faculty, meaning those with an M.D. or equivalent degree who are engaged in biomedical research of any type as a major component of their effort, a challenge occurs in identifying both mentoring and resources for protected time, to help them succeed in the competitive environment of biomedical research.
The Office of Physician-Scientist Career Development is intended to constitute an important part of the University of Connecticut’s response to this local and national need. We serve as a central resource in the School of Medicine for aspiring or active physician-scientists at every level, from prospective medical students to faculty.
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Andrew Arnold, M.D.
Head, Office of Physician-Scientist Career Development
Murray-Heilig Chair in Molecular Medicine