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BMC Med Educ. 2018 Jan 4;18(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-1103-0.

Training the next generation of physician researchers - Vanderbilt Medical Scholars Program.

Author information

1
Outcomes Research, Biomedical Research Education & Training, Clinical & Translational Scientist Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
2
Center for Asthma & Environmental Sciences Research, Vanderbilt Environmental Health Science Scholars Program (NIEHS K12), Vanderbilt Medical Scholars Program, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
4
Vanderbilt Medical Scholars Program, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
5
Vanderbilt Medical Scholars Program, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
6
Department of Epidemiology, University North Carolina, Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
7
Center for Asthma & Environmental Sciences Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
8
Office of Medical Student Research, Health Sciences Education, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 312 Light Hall, Nashville, TN, 37232-0301, USA. luke.finck@vanderbilt.edu.
9
Physician Researcher Development, Office for Medical Student Research, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
10
Translational Science, Center for Asthma Research, Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As highlighted in recent reports published by the Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group at the National Institutes of Health, the percentage of physicians conducting research has declined over the past decade. Various programs have been put in place to support and develop current medical student interest in research to alleviate this shortage, including The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Medical Scholars Program (MSP). This report outlines the long-term program goals and short-term outcomes on career development of MSP alumni, to shed light on the effectiveness of research training programs during undergraduate medical training to inform similar programs in the United States.

METHODS:

MSP alumni were asked to complete an extensive survey assessing demographics, accomplishments, career progress, future career plans, and MSP program evaluation.

RESULTS:

Fifty-five (81%) MSP alumni responded, among whom 12 had completed all clinical training. The demographics of MSP alumni survey respondents are similar to those of all Vanderbilt medical students and medical students at all other Association of American Medical College (AAMC) medical schools. MSP alumni published a mean of 1.9 peer-reviewed manuscripts (95% CI:1.2, 2.5), and 51% presented at national meetings. Fifty-eight percent of respondents reported that MSP participation either changed their career goals or helped to confirm or refine their career goals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results suggest that the MSP program both prepares students for careers in academic medicine and influences their career choices at an early juncture in their training. A longer follow-up period is needed to fully evaluate the long-term outcomes of some participants.

KEYWORDS:

Physician researchers; Research; Training; Undergraduate medical education

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