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With dramatic expansion of the biomedical knowledge base and increasing demands for evidence-based medicine, the role of the clinician-scientist is becoming increasingly important. In orthopaedic surgery, clinician-scientists are at the forefront of translational efforts to address the growing burden of musculoskeletal disease, yet MD-PhD trained investigators have historically been underrepresented in this field. Here, we examine the trend, over time, of MD-PhD graduates pursuing orthopaedic surgery, compared to other specialties. Survey data from the 2018 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) National MD-PhD Program Outcomes Study, including data on 4,647 individuals who had completed residency training and 2,124 who were still in training, were re-analyzed. Numbers, proportions, workplace choice, and percent research effort of MD-PhD graduates completing orthopaedic surgery were compared with other surgical and non-surgical specialties. Trends over time were analyzed by linear regression. While a decreasing proportion of MD-PhD graduates completed internal medicine training, just 1.1% of MD-PhD graduates completed orthopaedic surgery training, lower than that of all other surgical specialties. The proportion of MD-PhD graduates completing orthopaedic surgery has not increased over time and was mirrored in MD-PhD residents still in training. Though MD-PhDs are increasingly choosing to pursue "non-traditional" specialties, they remain underrepresented in orthopaedic surgery, compared to other clinical disciplines. Thus, there exists an opportunity to encourage MD-PhD graduates to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery, to supplement the existing intellectual capital in the orthopaedic science workforce. This, along with other strategies to support all orthopaedic surgeon-scientists, will ultimately advance the care of musculoskeletal diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society
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A cancer registry mandated under the National Cancer Act of 1971 to operate and maintain a population-based cancer reporting system, reporting periodically estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in the United States. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program is a continuing project of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Among its goals, in addition to assembling and reporting cancer statistics, are the monitoring of annual cancer incident trends and the promoting of studies designed to identify factors amenable to cancer control interventions. (From National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 91-3074, October 1990)
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Component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. It conducts and supports basic and applied research for a national program in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutrition; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases. It was established in 1948.
Component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. It conducts and supports research program related to diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, and blood; blood resources; and sleep disorders. From 1948 until October 10, 1969, it was known as the National Heart Institute. From June 25, 1976, it was the National Heart and Lung Institute. Since October 1997, the NHLBI has also had administrative responsibility for the NIH Woman's Health Initiative.
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