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The American Federation for Medical Research has presented a series of articles addressing the challenges faced by academic medical centers and other institutions in developing physician-scientists. This is the final part of that series, and it is an interview with James R. Gavin III, MD, PhD. Dr. Gavin has been a leader in academic medicine for several years and has been instrumental in developing and running several programs focused on developing physician leaders for academic medicine. In this interview, we focus on the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP). This program has been in existence since 1983 and has focused on the development of the physician-scientist from underrepresented minority groups. Dr. Gavin has served on the AMFDP National Advisory Committee since the program's inception and has been the national program director since 1993. In the 22 years of this program's existence, over 80% of the AMFDP scholars have remained in academic medicine, with many now holding leadership roles at medical schools, research institutes, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Gavin is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and received degrees from Livingstone College (BSc, Chemistry) and Emory University (PhD, Biochemistry) and Duke University (MD). After spending several years at Washington University in the Division of Endocrinology, he then became the chief of the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), where he was senior science officer. His recruitment to HHMI was based in part on his previous leadership of an NIH-based medical student research program. Most recently, Dr. Gavin has served as president of Morehouse School of Medicine and is currently a clinical professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. He is a recognized leader of …
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