Centralized oversight of physician-scientist faculty development at Vanderbilt: early outcomes.

Brown AM, Morrow JD, Limbird LE, Byrne DW, Gabbe SG, Balser JR, Brown NJ
Acad Med. 2008 83 (10): 969-75

PMID: 18820531 · PMCID: PMC3780596 · DOI:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181850950

PURPOSE - In 2000, faced with a national concern over the decreasing number of physician-scientists, Vanderbilt School of Medicine established the institutionally funded Vanderbilt Physician-Scientist Development (VPSD) program to provide centralized oversight and financial support for physician-scientist career development. In 2002, Vanderbilt developed the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Vanderbilt Clinical Research Scholars (VCRS) program using a similar model of centralized oversight. The authors evaluate the impact of the VPSD and VCRS programs on early career outcomes of physician-scientists.

METHOD - Physician-scientists who entered the VPSD or VCRS programs from 2000 through 2006 were compared with Vanderbilt physician-scientists who received NIH career development funding during the same period without participating in the VPSD or VCRS programs.

RESULTS - Seventy-five percent of VPSD and 60% of VCRS participants achieved individual career award funding at a younger age than the comparison cohort. This shift to career development award funding at a younger age among VPSD and VCRS scholars was accompanied by a 2.6-fold increase in the number of new K awards funded and a rate of growth in K-award dollars at Vanderbilt that outpaced the national rate of growth in K-award funding.

CONCLUSIONS - Analysis of the early outcomes of the VPSD and VCRS programs suggests that centralized oversight can catalyze growth in the number of funded physician-scientists at an institution. Investment in this model of career development for physician-scientists may have had an additive effect on the recruitment and retention of talented trainees and junior faculty.

MeSH Terms (16)

Academic Medical Centers Biomedical Research Career Choice Education, Medical Faculty, Medical Financing, Organized Humans National Institutes of Health (U.S.) Physicians Program Development Program Evaluation Quality Control Research Personnel Research Support as Topic Tennessee United States

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