[Skip to Navigation]
May 2015

The Physician-Scientist Workforce and Board Certification

Author Affiliations
  • 1The American Board of Pediatrics, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(5):417-418. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3551

A recent US National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory1 to its director raises alarm about the future of the physician-scientist, a concern that other articles have noted as well.2,3 The shrinking NIH budget (in real terms) is a well-known barrier to the careers of young investigators, and pediatricians have not been immune. Indeed, the rates of NIH grant awards to departments of pediatrics have declined from 23.8% to 16.8% during the past decade.4 Because the NIH advisory also criticized the certifying boards for not doing enough to support the physician-scientist workforce, this viewpoint examines some of the recommendations in the advisory from the perspective of a certifying board.