Dr Koempel's letter outlines several issues that are associated with the development of peer review funded physician scientists in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. The reply by Drs Naclerio and Baroody is right on target and needs to be calmly and carefully discussed within our academic departments of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery and in our organizations. Nothing will improve the future success rates of young investigators more than thorough preparation, didactically and practically, through mentorships with established, accomplished, and successful investigators. As Naclerio and Baroody say, it takes a "fire" and passion to investigate. The path of physician scientist or clinician investigator is not for everyone, but we must nourish and support those few who have the passion. This cannot be done unless we guarantee adequate preparation, appropriate startup support, and protected time for the budding career to take root.
Johns MME. In reply. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002;128(8):982-983. doi: