reconvene a clinical research panel similar to the one chaired by NIH Director Harold Varmus five to six years ago, because that kind of panel becomes a continuing prod and kind of overseer to ensure some of these things happen.

  1. Societies as agents for the development and advance of young clinical researchers. They can provide courses in how to negotiate and how to request resources and support from a university. If societies see themselves as allied with new scientists coming into clinical research, and as agents who will help these scientists succeed, they may often be able to do things that universities cannot do in this area.


This group addressed three questions: What obstacles do societies face? What effective practices are already in place? What would we suggest as the outcome of this workshop?

  1. Obstacles

  • Clinical research is usually viewed as a second-class citizen within institutions and societies, and in many contexts, not the least of which are promotion and tenure, it does not have the same impact as other areas. Therefore, efforts to encourage people to undertake this kind of research will not fly when there’s no reward for it.

  • Financial issues and lifestyle issues are obstacles as well. Clinical researchers are often not well funded, and many have loans to repay. They need better salary and better revenue. As for lifestyle concerns, they are pinched from every direction—clinical research, service activities, family care, and myriad other demands. Everything more they do in their professional life takes away from family or personal life.

  • A lot of women do not feel that they are role models. That perception needs to be changed, because everyone is a role model regardless of her level.

  • Lack of access to information channels and grantsmanship channels is a barrier.

  1. Effective practices

  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has programs already in place to reach out to medical students. A small minority of those students become family practitioners, but they have had access to some clinical research programs. An AAFP committee on special constituencies looks at the needs of different groups.

  • The Society for Teachers of Family Medicine at its national meeting

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