MD–PhD Program Graduates’ Engagement in Research: Results of a National Study

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  • Andriole MSTP research engagement outcomes 2021.pdf
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This is a terrific study but has a significant flaw. It is based on the "responder" cohort of our AAMC outcome study survey, a subset that has a greater interest into persistence in biomedical research.
 
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so if you want to do research, then you are more likely to do research (except for derm)
 
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Surprised to see surgery so high in regards to research engagement
 
I'm a little surprised that women are less likely, but I suppose I could think of reasons that might be, it's just not my personal experience, though I would believe it historically. The rest doesn't seem surprising at all and I took away the same as mentioned above: those engaged stay engaged and attempt to find positions that support that engagement (... assuming the job market allows for it).
 
'Assuming the job market allows' being operative here. I probably should have pasted Table 4 instead, which shows that even among those with stated career intention being ft research scientist at graduation (which was the vast majority of this sample), mean research time was only 49.5%.

Historically assumed to be bimodal with 'winners' (NIH grantees) and 'losers' (no NIH $) but per outcomes data from a few years ago actually appears to be more of a normal distribution reflecting the catch-as-catch-can nature of funding these days.

(I am not in the least surprised that research engagement was lower for women. Trying to start a research career as a mother of young children is like trying to win the 100m butterfly with a cannonball tied to your leg.)
 
Historically assumed to be bimodal with 'winners' (NIH grantees) and 'losers' (no NIH $) but per outcomes data from a few years ago actually appears to be more of a normal distribution reflecting the catch-as-catch-can nature of funding these days.

How does this fact figure in with things like tenure? it seems incompatible with building up the portfolio you'd need to make the case, right?
 
'Assuming the job market allows' being operative here. I probably should have pasted Table 4 instead, which shows that even among those with stated career intention being ft research scientist at graduation (which was the vast majority of this sample), mean research time was only 49.5%.
Maybe I'm misreading that Table but isn't that 49.5% in relation to 100% of professional activities? For a clinician-scientist, that seems about right. I mean, every clinician has other duties. I'm actually surprised its that high. 1 R01 typically only afford 30 to 40% salary effort.
 
Maybe I'm misreading that Table but isn't that 49.5% in relation to 100% of professional activities? For a clinician-scientist, that seems about right. I mean, every clinician has other duties. I'm actually surprised its that high. 1 R01 typically only afford 30 to 40% salary effort.
Fair enough, and personally I agree with you that this is realistic, but there is still this '80% research' being touted as the ideal, and likely the expectation of those listing their career goals as 'full-time research scientist.'

How does this fact figure in with things like tenure? it seems incompatible with building up the portfolio you'd need to make the case, right?
I mean yeah, I would assume the majority of these people are not on the tenure track. I'm on the clinical track and I currently have 40% research time (it bounces around year to year), and I bet that's not atypical. The institution I was at when I transitioned from fellow to faculty had a minimum requirement of 50% funded research time to enter the tenure track.
 
Fair enough, and personally I agree with you that this is realistic, but there is still this '80% research' being touted as the ideal, and likely the expectation of those listing their career goals as 'full-time research scientist.'


I mean yeah, I would assume the majority of these people are not on the tenure track. I'm on the clinical track and I currently have 40% research time (it bounces around year to year), and I bet that's not atypical. The institution I was at when I transitioned from fellow to faculty had a minimum requirement of 50% funded research time to enter the tenure track.
Ha. That means typically means 2 R01s (unless its an R and a foundation grant or something). Good luck with that. Like how many people put 51% effort on an R just to keep themselves on that track?

And yes, the 80% research is mostly a fallacy and a residual of days gone by. I mean, I've known people who have had it (they are typically senior), but with funding the way it is, when they've had it, it can be pretty fleeting. That was division chief's goal (who is an MD-PhD) when a joined nearly a decade ago. After enough triaged grants... now all he talks about is when he gets to retire and GTFO.
 
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