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Creation and Retention of the Next Generation of Physician-Scientists for Child Health Research

David N. Cornfield, MD; Robert Lane, MD; Steven H. Abman, MD
JAMA. 2013;309(17):1781-1782. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.2258.
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Academic pediatrics is motivated by a vision wherein the children of tomorrow are healthier than those of today. The physician-scientist is uniquely well positioned to create and translate discoveries into care. Over the last 30 years, proportionately fewer physician-scientists capable of sustaining a research program have committed to a hypothesis-driven research career focused on child-health issues. Since the 1980s, the percentage of physicians dedicating significant components of a professional life to research has declined from approximately 5% to 1.5%.1 Pediatrics may be more affected than other medical specialties. Despite more trainees, the population of physician-scientists is aging and the absolute number is declining.2 In 1980, 25% of research program grants were awarded to physicians older than 50 years, compared with 50% at present.1 The implications of these trends are substantial.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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