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Acad Med. 1991 Mar;66(3):123-9.

Training physician-scientists for the 1990s.

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School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0410.


The author describes a paradox: on the one hand, remarkable strides have been made in biomedical research that have created unparalleled opportunities for progress in the understanding, prevention, and treatment of human diseases; yet on the other hand, too few people are being adequately trained to actualize the promise of these advances. Concerns that have been raised in the past concerning the training of physician-scientists are reviewed and general statements are made about their current availability. The status and health of M.D.-Ph.D. programs are discussed, because many think this kind of program is an important mechanism for training the biomedical researchers of the future. New initiatives under way to encourage careers in research are considered and recommendations are made for the future support of research training and encouragement of the exceptional young people who are entering the research pipeline.

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