MD-PhD holders focus on research less than they used to, according to analysis.
The number of US physician–scientists who conduct biomedical research as their primary profession has declined in the past 30 years, according to a report by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) in Bethesda, Maryland. Physician Scientists: Assessing the Workforce finds that from 1982 to 2011, the proportion with medical degrees or MD–PhDs doing research fell from 3.6% to 1.6%. It attributes the decline to factors such as longer training periods and rising debt. But MD–PhD holders have an edge in a tight funding environment because of their skill set, says report co-author Howard Garrison, FASEB's deputy executive director for policy.