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The Physician-Scientist Workforce and Board Certification

Nichols DG and Lister G
JAMA Pediatrics
Pub Med #: 

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.