UPDATE ON TASK FORCE ON
THE FUTURE OF CLINICIAN SCIENTISTS
The Task Force on the Future of Clinician Scientists at UCSF was charged with examining the success rate of Clinician Scientists in pursuing such a career, considering current UCSF policies and practices that can be modified to enhance the success of the clinician scientist and determining the interest of, and opportunities for our health science students, housestaff, and fellows to pursue a clinical scientist career.
The first step of gathering information on the current trends was conducted by creation of a 25-question survey. The Office of the Academic Senate sent surveys to all faculty at UCSF and initially received 319 responses. Of those who responded, 200 identified themselves as Clinician Scientists. The School of Medicine, with 90%, had the largest representation and 65% of the respondents possessed an M.D.
In addition, asked to provide a preferred balance between research, teaching, patient care, administration and public service, 94% of respondents wished to have more research time with clinical responsibilities being the biggest barrier to achieving this balance. Respondents also lacked mentoring opportunities, with the majority indicating that they did not receive or received inadequate mentoring. A presentation of the survey data was given at the San Francisco Division Meeting on June 30, 2000.
The survey gave respondents the option of being interviewed on their experiences with these topics and 84 volunteered. Therefore, the Task Force is currently implementing this second step by organizing focus groups of eight to twelve members for meetings in August, September and October.
Because the Task Force would like additional responses, the survey will be distributed to faculty who did not respond. Data reports will be posted on this website in the near future.
"A successful clinician-scientist, measured as a prominent clinician and scientist, is a difficult task. Clinically, you are competing with full-time clinicians who are protecting their practices to sustain their salaries. Scientifically, you are competing with full-time scientists who are pushing as hard as they can to protect their grant support. In this atmosphere of highly polarized needs, it is a tall order to succeed on both fronts."