News in Brief

Mentorship programs can be building blocks for research careers, study says

Nearly two-thirds of research program alumni indicated they conduct research as part of their career.

The majority of alumni from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Clinical Research Training Program have gone on to conduct research as part of their job rather than pursue practicing medicine full-time, according to an Academic Medicine study.

The study analyzed data from 130 program participants who completed their training during the program’s run from 1997 to 2012. The program provided medical and dental students with a yearlong opportunity to conduct research under the direction of mentors. Nearly two-thirds of alumni indicated they conduct research, often at academic medical centers. Of those who do research, more than half said they spend more than 25% of the time conducting research.

The authors noted the findings proved encouraging during a time when the number of clinician-scientists is declining.

“Physician–scientists have made critical contributions to basic studies. Yet, only a handful of yearlong research programs still exist to maintain the clinician–scientist pipeline for young investigators. Hopefully our data will encourage NIH and others to initiate or enhance such programs,” said senior author Michael M. Gottesman, MD, the NIH deputy director for intramural research, in a statement.

Research represents one of the AOA’s strategic priorities to help raise visibility of osteopathic medicine and bring increased awareness for the contributions DOs make to patient care. Visit the AOA’s Research and Development section on Osteopathic.org to learn about funding opportunities and research resources.