For Those Of You Who Are Basic Scientists At Medical Institutions….

Get to know people in clinical departments (if you are not already in one). Get to know the chairs and other important people. Before you know it, they will be sending clinical fellows your way to do research with significant amounts of money. They may also ask you to contribute a project to a center or program project grant. I know this may come as a shocker, but clinical departments generally have more cash to play with. Personally, I am more than happy to train medical students, clinical fellows, and clinical faculty in my lab (sometimes on my dime).  Finally, although I sometimes claim to do translational research, these people do it for real and have taught me a lot about clinical science.

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2 thoughts on “For Those Of You Who Are Basic Scientists At Medical Institutions….

  1. You had me right up until the sentence with “clinical fellows” and “significant amounts of money” in it. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the clinical enterprise at most academic medical centers (AMCs) is completely effed in the A. For the past 2 decades AMCs have been creaming money off of the clinical side to shore up research. That money is long gone. When you have a president who is pee-ohed about hospitals making more than a 3% margin, that money is no longer to be counted on.

    Speaking of trainees, I’m sure you’ve done your homework enough to know the entire graduate medical education house of cards is about to come crashing down too, right? Medicare/caid reform is gonna really do a number on the AMCs, and seeing as they only represent 120 out of 4000+ hospitals in the US, they’re doing a pretty shitty job of negotiating special terms with congress and the whole Obamacare juggernaut.

    Any AMC with money to piss away putting clinical fellows in labs instead of generating clinical revenue, has got to be cooking the books somewhere else.

    Just sayin’

  2. Of course I have noticed the funding issues. Regardless, many fellowship programs require a year of research (for good reason), and clinical depts. may be “cooking the books” somewhere else to support this. Some clinical fellowship programs are funded by institutional K grants or other mechanisms. Basic scientists can benefit from this (and vice versa), which is the point of the post. Our Uni has a CTSA grant (among several other mechanisms) which not only supports but encourages these types of interactions. Academic institutions by definition are not for-profit enterprises, and I strongly feel that research is critical for the goals of an institute of higher learning. Otherwise, you might as well adopt a for-profit hospital model and eliminate research altogether.

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