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Pediatr Neurol. 2003 Nov;29(5):370-3.

The supportive academic environment: ingredients for success.

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  • 1Division of Child Neurology and Pediatric Center for Neuroscience, Department of Pediatrics, University and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Despite the many dire pronouncements of the moribund status of the academic triple threat, this species is far from extinct. Maintenance and, indeed, expansion of this pool of individuals requires their identification and support early in their careers, and nurturing and mentoring throughout their careers. Increasing demands for clinical service and revenue generation make it all the more critical that institutions and their faculty and administrative personnel in leadership positions support these increasingly rare academicians and that the individuals themselves develop and maintain diligence, superlative organizational skills, the ability to prioritize and the flexibility to reprioritize, perseverance, and above all, a sense of humor. Early in career development, perhaps the most important element in this equation is the mentor. The present article is in large measure a tribute to the mentoring role played by Dr. Michael J. Painter in the careers of his residents, fellows, and faculty throughout more than two decades as Chief of the Division of Child Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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