Throughout history, physicians have played a vital role in medical discovery. These physician-scientists devote the majority of their professional effort to seeking new knowledge about health and disease through research and represent the entire continuum of biomedical investigation. They bring a unique perspective to their work and often base their scientific questions on the experience of caring for patients. Physician-scientists also effectively communicate between researchers in the "pure sciences" and practicing health care providers. Yet there has been growing concern in recent decades that, due to complex changes, physician-scientists are vanishing from the scene.
In this book, leading physician-scientists and academic physicians examine the problem from a variety of perspectives: historical, demographic, scientific, cultural, sociological, and economic. They make valuable recommendations that-if heeded-should preserve and revitalize the community of physician-scientists as the profession continues to evolve and boundaries between doctors and researchers shift.