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When I was in medical school over 20 years ago, among the higher truths that I was taught was the belief in the importance and high priority of clinicians' active involvement in research activities. The nature of medical discovery was such that it often required a physician-initiated research endeavor to bring the knowledge of science to improved treatment of human disease. The fear among physicians of choosing a career as clinician-scientist was that one might prove unworthy and not succeed, but the merit of the pursuit was never in doubt. The stated goals of most departments of ophthalmology involved nurturing and protecting such investigation-oriented physicians. Finding new knowledge that could be applied to human disease was the most sacred and important of pathways, and was part of the philosophy that it was important for physicians to "return something to the system" that had helped foster their careers.
Although the above
Epstein DL. Is the Ophthalmologist as a Clinician-Scientist Still Viable?. Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(11):1523-1524. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080110059034