Physician-scientists are uniquely positioned to conduct innovative medical research along the entire continuum of basic, clinical, patient-oriented, and population-based sciences. Although currently preserved from extinction, the physician-scientist remains threatened today, in part, due to obstacles that exist along the physician-scientist career pathway. Among these obstacles are the long training period, personal debt, limited research funding, lack of mentoring, and the uncertainty of a successful career. With such a broad scope of potential career tracks available, it is crucial to have career development opportunities targeted specifically to this important cadre of future scientists. Prior to the Inaugural APSA Annual Meeting in April, 2005, there was no authoritative avenue for American physician-scientists in training to obtain deep insight into the career paths that are available to them in all career sectors (NIH, industry, and academia) and in broad medical disciplines. The APSA Annual Meeting serves as an excellent opportunity for current and prospective physician-scientists in training to learn about the diverse career options available to them. This meeting is held concurrently with the Joint Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP) (two of the premier organizations dedicated to the physician-scientist). Through this close collaboration, APSA members are able to interact directly with well established physician-scientists from all areas of medicine and science. This application seeks funds to provide continuity of support for the 3-day National APSA Annual Conference that brings together over 200 trainees interested in careers combining science and medicine, at the following stages of training: MD, DO, PhD, Residents / Fellows and undergraduates. The conference provides a structured environment to disseminate career advice from established physician-scientists in all career sectors, to promote the development of mentoring relationships, and to foster community building amongst physician-scientist trainees. Objectives: 1) To address career development issues for physician-scientist trainees;2) To provide mentoring and networking opportunities for future physician-scientists, and;3) To provide additional support for women, under-represented minorities, and non-PhD trainees who are currently in the physician-scientist career track.
APSA Annual Meeting Project Narrative Physician-scientists are a critical component of the medical research enterprise and their training provides them with the unique ability to apply clinical knowledge to their research efforts to improve the treatment of human disease [1-5]. The decline of physician-scientists in the United States is well documented and numerous NIH initiatives have been put in place to preserve this rarified group [6-8]. The APSA Annual Meeting will directly support the future of physician scientists in the United States by providing current trainees with an unparalleled perspective on the career opportunities available to them and by providing numerous opportunities for vertical and horizontal mentorship.