Academics is a vocation for teaching, research or both. Everybody takes care of patients, but you ought to have a big drive to do academics to be able to survive the early years. Assistant Professors/Instructors who only take care of patients would find themselves sooner or later in private practice. If you have the drive, you will find the ideas. I have taken a triaged grant from one place, have done cosmetic changes and submitted to other agency and got it fully funded. Creativity and thick skin are necessary, but persistence/drive will get you farther. Indeed, academics requires a narrow focus goal... your niche.
I would not discourage anybody having the drive to become an Academician. We had tough times in the mid 80s before (when graduate student).
Below is part of an email I recieved from AAN. Whoever thinks that brain research will suffer in the near future because of the current economy better think twice. When you have people like Paul Allen one of the founders of Microsoft donating $100 million dollars for brain research --- thats no joke. There maybe cutback in all areas of medicine including neurology, no one can deny that final frontier to understanding medicine is understanding how the brain functions.
"The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and American Academy of Neurology Foundation (AANF) are pleased to invite your institution to be a part of the AANs Ninth Annual Awards Luncheon, which will be held on Wednesday, April 29, at the 2009 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. The luncheon recognizes the 2009 award recipients and promotes academic careers in neurology to students, residents and fellows by showcasing the achievements of our many awardees.
Microsoft Co-Founder and well-known philanthropist Paul G. Allen is the recipient of the 2009 Public Leadership in Neurology Award. He will be the keynote speaker at the Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 29. Owner of the Seattle Seahawks NFL and Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchises, the Sounders FC soccer teamas well as the founder of the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame in SeattleAllen is being recognized for his strong commitment to brain research, including his $100 million contribution to the founding of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in his hometown of Seattle."
The healthcare environment for the 'consumers' is bad. Reimbursements are already declining and continue to do so. The gap between incomes in academics and private practice will gradually close. 'Most people in academics can always go into practice, but not the other way around'.