The size and diversity of the physician-scientist workforce are issues of national concern. In this retrospective, national cohort study of US medical school matriculants who graduated in 1997–2004, we describe the prevalence and predictors of federal F32, mentored-K, and R01 awards among physicians. In multivariable logistic regression models, we identified demographic, educational, and professional development variables independently associated with each award through August 2014, reporting adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (AOR (95% CI)). Among 117,119 graduates with complete data (97.7% of 119,906 graduates in 1997–2004), 509 (0.4%) received F32, 1740 (1.5%) received mentored-K, and 597 (0.5%) received R01 awards. Adjusting for all variables except US Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 scores, black (vs white) graduates were less likely to receive F32 (0.48 (0.28–0.82)), mentored-K (0.56 (0.43–0.72)), and R01 (0.48 (0.28–0.82)) awards; Hispanic graduates were less likely to receive mentored-K awards (0.68 (0.52–0.88)), and women less likely to receive F32 (0.81 (0.67–0.98)) and R01 (0.59 (0.49–0.71)) awards. After adding Step 1 scores, these race/ethnicity effects were not significant, but women (0.62 (0.51–0.75)) were still less likely to receive R01 awards. Graduates reporting both (vs neither) medical school research elective and authorship were more likely to receive F32 (1.89 (1.45–2.48)), mentored-K (2.48 (2.13–2.88)), and R01 (2.00 (1.54–2.60)) awards. Prior F32 (2.17 (1.46–3.21)) and mentored-K (28.08 (22.94–34.38)) awardees more likely received R01 awards. Findings highlight the need for research-experiential interventions along the medical education continuum to promote greater participation and diversity of US medical graduates in the federally funded, biomedical research workforce.
- medical education
- biomedical research
- ethnic groups
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Contributors DBJ and DAA had full access to the data and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and accuracy of data analysis. Each author contributed fully to the study concept and design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data, and drafting and critical revisions of the manuscript.
Funding Supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences (2R01 GM085350). Role of Funding Source: The NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences provided technical support for conducting the record match in IMPAC II, but was not involved in study design or conduct; data collection, management, analysis, or interpretation; manuscript preparation, approval, or decision to submit it for publication.
Disclaimer The conclusions of the authors are not necessarily those of the Association of American Medical Colleges, National Board of Medical Examiners, National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences, or their respective staff members.
Competing interests DBJ and DAA used grant funds for travel to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences annual grantees’ meetings and to various meetings of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to present their work from this study. Colleagues at the AAMC did not receive compensation from the authors for their support, but grant funds were used to compensate the AAMC for time and effort to provide us with the data.
Ethics approval The Washington University School of Medicine Institutional Review Board (IRB) issued a letter of determination stating that the study was considered non-human studies research and did not require IRB continuing review, as all data were existing and deidentified prior to being provided to the authors.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Deidentified data used in this study include both proprietary data from the Association of American Medical Colleges and National Board of Medical Examiners and publicly available data maintained by the National Institutes of Health.
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