New technologies have made this an opportune time to prepare and embark on an academic career in respiratory disease research. The pulmonary physician-scientist has a special advantage to take basic research findings to the patient's illness and impact medical care. But is there a sufficient work force emerging to capitalize on current research opportunities? The aim of this study was to analyze the present workforce of potential clinical investigators available by reviewing the mechanisms of training support as provided by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and by the professional pulmonary societies, including their patient advocacy groups and pharmaceutical partners, and by discussing how support for research training might be improved for advanced clinical fellows. Of the approximately 500 fellows/year in a final training year in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine and related programs, about one third are involved mainly in supervised research and of whom about two thirds plan to continue fellowship training for an additional year or more (approximately 100-120 trainees). It seems especially important to encourage his particular group who are planning to extend fellowship for research training. Both the NHLBI and the professional pulmonary societies and their partners provide support for advanced fellowship trainees, but resources are limited. To insure that enough well-trained new clinical investigators will be available to conduct future pulmonary research, funding support and other career inducements should be discussed collectively by the NHLBI and the professional pulmonary societies for the purpose of optimizing support for advanced fellowship trainees.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine