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September 1988

Careers in Academic MedicineTriple Threat or Double Fake

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(9):1906-1907. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380090008002

American academic medicine faces a crisis as we move toward the 21st century. Some of our most talented young physicians are avoiding an academic career because of the perceived stressful nature of such positions. Competition for grant funding, long hours of patient care, administrative demands, and heavy teaching schedules have discouraged these potential academicians. In the 1960s, medical schools sought to fill faculty positions with so-called triple-threat men: individuals who were original and productive investigators, inspired teachers, and compassionate, practicing physicians. Since that time, medical school faculty have felt compelled to strive toward this ideal. The outcome, however, is often less than ideal. Physicians who are truly outstanding in one of these three areas feel compelled to excel in all three, but sometimes they end up excelling in none. Moreover, job and personal in academic medicine have declined as these faculty members realize that they are not achieving their desired

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