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Resources, commitment needed for pediatric physician-scientist

May 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

STANFORD, Calif., May 11 (UPI) -- In the last 30 years, fewer U.S. physician-scientists were committed to a hypothesis-driven research career focused on child-health issues, experts say.

Dr. David N. Cornfield of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California and colleagues say development of the pediatric physician-scientist pathway can be facilitated by relatively straightforward and resource-efficient investments.

"Motivating even this relatively modest investment demands explicit acknowledgment of the value of the clinician-scientist," Cornfield said in a statement.

"Children will be well-served when more children's hospitals and pediatric departmental resources are focused on creation, retention and promotion of the engine that has powered their growth and increasing prominence -- i.e., physician-scientists creating and translating knowledge into care. Without such recognition and resolve, pediatrics as a discipline may be unable to meet its collective obligation to the next generations."

Cornfield and his colleagues examined the issue in a Viewpoint published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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