Are MD-PhD programs meeting their goals? An analysis of career choices made by graduates of 24 MD-PhD programs

Lawrence F. Brass, Myles Akabas, Linda D. Burnley, David M. Engman, Clayton A. Wiley, Olaf S. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: MD-PhD training programs provide an integrated approach for training physician-scientists. The goal of this study was to characterize the career path taken by MD-PhD program alumni during the past 40 years and identify trends that affect their success. Method: In 2007-early 2008, 24 programs enrolling 43% of current trainees and representing half of the National Institutes of Health-funded MD-PhD training programs submitted anonymous data on 5,969 current and former trainees. Results: The average program enrolled 90 trainees, required 8.0 years to complete, and had an attrition rate of 10%. Nearly all (95%) of those who graduated entered residencies. Most (81%) were employed in academia, research institutes, or industry; 16% were in private practice. Of those in academia, 82% were doing research and at least 61% had identifiable research funding. Whereas two-thirds devoted more than 50% effort to research, only 39% devoted more than 75% effort. Many with laboratory-based PhDs reported doing clinical, as well as basic and translational, research. Emerging trends include decreasing numbers of graduates who forego residencies or hold primary appointments in nonclinical departments, increasing time to graduation, and expanding residency choices that include disciplines historically associated with clinical practice rather than research. Conclusions: Most MD-PhD program graduates follow career paths generally consistent with their training as physician-scientists. However, the range of their professional options is broad. Further thought should be given to designing their training to anticipate their career choices and maximize their likelihood of success as investigators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-701
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume85
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Fingerprint

Career Choice
Internship and Residency
graduate
career
trainee
Research
training program
Physicians
Education
Translational Medical Research
physician
Private Practice
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
alumni
trend
research facility
Appointments and Schedules
Industry
Research Personnel
funding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Are MD-PhD programs meeting their goals? An analysis of career choices made by graduates of 24 MD-PhD programs. / Brass, Lawrence F.; Akabas, Myles; Burnley, Linda D.; Engman, David M.; Wiley, Clayton A.; Andersen, Olaf S.

In: Academic Medicine, Vol. 85, No. 4, 04.2010, p. 692-701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brass, Lawrence F. ; Akabas, Myles ; Burnley, Linda D. ; Engman, David M. ; Wiley, Clayton A. ; Andersen, Olaf S. / Are MD-PhD programs meeting their goals? An analysis of career choices made by graduates of 24 MD-PhD programs. In: Academic Medicine. 2010 ; Vol. 85, No. 4. pp. 692-701.
@article{a1581d9bc6894761b0677cec48519ac3,
title = "Are MD-PhD programs meeting their goals? An analysis of career choices made by graduates of 24 MD-PhD programs",
abstract = "Purpose: MD-PhD training programs provide an integrated approach for training physician-scientists. The goal of this study was to characterize the career path taken by MD-PhD program alumni during the past 40 years and identify trends that affect their success. Method: In 2007-early 2008, 24 programs enrolling 43{\%} of current trainees and representing half of the National Institutes of Health-funded MD-PhD training programs submitted anonymous data on 5,969 current and former trainees. Results: The average program enrolled 90 trainees, required 8.0 years to complete, and had an attrition rate of 10{\%}. Nearly all (95{\%}) of those who graduated entered residencies. Most (81{\%}) were employed in academia, research institutes, or industry; 16{\%} were in private practice. Of those in academia, 82{\%} were doing research and at least 61{\%} had identifiable research funding. Whereas two-thirds devoted more than 50{\%} effort to research, only 39{\%} devoted more than 75{\%} effort. Many with laboratory-based PhDs reported doing clinical, as well as basic and translational, research. Emerging trends include decreasing numbers of graduates who forego residencies or hold primary appointments in nonclinical departments, increasing time to graduation, and expanding residency choices that include disciplines historically associated with clinical practice rather than research. Conclusions: Most MD-PhD program graduates follow career paths generally consistent with their training as physician-scientists. However, the range of their professional options is broad. Further thought should be given to designing their training to anticipate their career choices and maximize their likelihood of success as investigators.",
author = "Brass, {Lawrence F.} and Myles Akabas and Burnley, {Linda D.} and Engman, {David M.} and Wiley, {Clayton A.} and Andersen, {Olaf S.}",
year = "2010",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d3ca17",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "85",
pages = "692--701",
journal = "Academic Medicine",
issn = "1040-2446",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Are MD-PhD programs meeting their goals? An analysis of career choices made by graduates of 24 MD-PhD programs

AU - Brass, Lawrence F.

AU - Akabas, Myles

AU - Burnley, Linda D.

AU - Engman, David M.

AU - Wiley, Clayton A.

AU - Andersen, Olaf S.

PY - 2010/4

Y1 - 2010/4

N2 - Purpose: MD-PhD training programs provide an integrated approach for training physician-scientists. The goal of this study was to characterize the career path taken by MD-PhD program alumni during the past 40 years and identify trends that affect their success. Method: In 2007-early 2008, 24 programs enrolling 43% of current trainees and representing half of the National Institutes of Health-funded MD-PhD training programs submitted anonymous data on 5,969 current and former trainees. Results: The average program enrolled 90 trainees, required 8.0 years to complete, and had an attrition rate of 10%. Nearly all (95%) of those who graduated entered residencies. Most (81%) were employed in academia, research institutes, or industry; 16% were in private practice. Of those in academia, 82% were doing research and at least 61% had identifiable research funding. Whereas two-thirds devoted more than 50% effort to research, only 39% devoted more than 75% effort. Many with laboratory-based PhDs reported doing clinical, as well as basic and translational, research. Emerging trends include decreasing numbers of graduates who forego residencies or hold primary appointments in nonclinical departments, increasing time to graduation, and expanding residency choices that include disciplines historically associated with clinical practice rather than research. Conclusions: Most MD-PhD program graduates follow career paths generally consistent with their training as physician-scientists. However, the range of their professional options is broad. Further thought should be given to designing their training to anticipate their career choices and maximize their likelihood of success as investigators.

AB - Purpose: MD-PhD training programs provide an integrated approach for training physician-scientists. The goal of this study was to characterize the career path taken by MD-PhD program alumni during the past 40 years and identify trends that affect their success. Method: In 2007-early 2008, 24 programs enrolling 43% of current trainees and representing half of the National Institutes of Health-funded MD-PhD training programs submitted anonymous data on 5,969 current and former trainees. Results: The average program enrolled 90 trainees, required 8.0 years to complete, and had an attrition rate of 10%. Nearly all (95%) of those who graduated entered residencies. Most (81%) were employed in academia, research institutes, or industry; 16% were in private practice. Of those in academia, 82% were doing research and at least 61% had identifiable research funding. Whereas two-thirds devoted more than 50% effort to research, only 39% devoted more than 75% effort. Many with laboratory-based PhDs reported doing clinical, as well as basic and translational, research. Emerging trends include decreasing numbers of graduates who forego residencies or hold primary appointments in nonclinical departments, increasing time to graduation, and expanding residency choices that include disciplines historically associated with clinical practice rather than research. Conclusions: Most MD-PhD program graduates follow career paths generally consistent with their training as physician-scientists. However, the range of their professional options is broad. Further thought should be given to designing their training to anticipate their career choices and maximize their likelihood of success as investigators.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77951666590&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77951666590&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d3ca17

DO - 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d3ca17

M3 - Article

C2 - 20186033

AN - SCOPUS:77951666590

VL - 85

SP - 692

EP - 701

JO - Academic Medicine

JF - Academic Medicine

SN - 1040-2446

IS - 4

ER -