Career characteristics of graduates of a Medical Scientist Training Program, 1970-1990

Acad Med. 1996 May;71(5):484-7. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199605000-00019.


Purpose: To describe the career characteristics of the graduates of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Duke University School of Medicine.

Method: Surveys and information at administrative offices were used to collect data on all the 1970-1990 MSTP graduates in the summer of 1995. Of the 147 graduates, all but three had completed postgraduate training. In addition, data were available for 35 recent graduates (1991-1995), most of whom were in transition from training and fellowship positions to career positions.

Results: Of the 144 graduates from 1970 through 1990, 84 (58%) had selected careers in internal medicine or pathology. A total of 106 (74%) were involved in careers in academic medicine or research. Of these, 87 (82%) held full-time faculty appointments and devoted major efforts to basic or clinical research. Of this group, 59 (68%) were primary investigators receiving grant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Of the 12 women graduates, 11 had careers in academic medicine or research, and seven were primary investigators on NIH grants. At the present time, 11 of 43 (26%) of the matriculating MSTP students are women. Five of the seven underrepresented-minority students in the MSTP have entered in the last five years.

Conclusion: This study reinforces and extends previous conclusions concerning the success of federally funded MSTPs in producing physician scientists who compete favorably for NIH funding.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Career Choice
  • Cohort Studies
  • Education, Graduate / statistics & numerical data*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Female
  • Financing, Organized
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Research
  • Sex Factors
  • Specialization*
  • United States