Career choices of 135 cardiology trainees at Duke University Medical Center from 1970 to 1984.
Alarm has been expressed at recently presented evidence showing that diminishing numbers of physicians are entering academic careers. The experience of the cardiology training program at a university medical center between 1970 and 1984 was reviewed to determine the career paths chosen by its trainees. During the study period, 135 physicians received training. Between 1970 and 1978 the percentage of trainees making academic medicine their initial career choice fluctuated considerably. Beginning in 1978, the percentage entering academic medicine steadily increased; in the most recent class, 8 of 9 trainees accepted academic faculty positions. Among 72 former trainees who joined an academic faculty after finishing training, approximately 7% per year left academic medicine for clinical practice. The median length of an academic career was 10 years. Individual institutions may be able to reverse the national trend of trainees making clinical practice their initial career choice. However, physicians who leave academic medicine for clinical practice may continue to deplete faculty ranks.
Pritchett, EL; Wagner, GS; Wallace, AG; Greenfield, JC
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