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Book and Media Reviews
September 15, 2010

The Vanishing Physician-Scientist?

JAMA. 2010;304(11):1241-1242. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1352

In 1979, the future director of the National Institutes of Health, James Wyngaarden, wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in which he described physician-scientists as an “endangered species.” More than 30 years later, concern about the relative decline in the number of physician-scientists persists. This decline is clearly the focus of this collection of essays that address the need for physician-driven research, attempt to identify reasons for the relative decrease in the number of physician-scientists, and propose ways of reversing this trend. The essays, written by senior physician-scientists who have held leadership positions in their institutions, reflect their personal experiences with their own careers as well as with mentoring others directly and indirectly through programs established to assist junior faculty members.