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September 1998

National Institutes of Health Support for Research and TrainingFuture of Pediatrician Scientists

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(9):839-842. doi:10.1001/archpedi.152.9.839

Stiehm, in articles from 19851 and 1996,2 raised an alarm that there were so few National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants awarded to Departments of Pediatrics that medical students could easily complete their training without having contact with a single NIH-funded pediatrician scientist. He showed that successful NIH funding of pediatrician scientists depended on a number of variables, but that most NIH grants were held in a limited number of Departments of Pediatrics. In his 1996 report,2 Stiehm demonstrated that NIH funding had increased in the decade since his initial study in 1985.1 Current information from the NIH web site (available at http://www.nih.gov/grants/award/trends94/ and http://silk.nih.gov/public/cbz2sn3; accessed July 20 and July 7, 1997, respectively) shows a slight increase in research dollars compared with that reported by Stiehm (1996), but a relatively stable share of NIH funding for Departments of Pediatrics. However, what is even more concerning is that it may be difficult for Departments of Pediatrics to maintain, let alone improve, their current level of NIH funding due to limited support for training of pediatrician researchers.

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