From its review of the evidence in this chapter, the committee concluded that there is cause for concern about both the current and the future state of research in departments of OB/GYN. While it is appropriate that many departments of OB/GYN have, and preserve, a clinical focus, it is important to expand the number of departments that can succeed in the competitive research arena. In that way the committee's research agenda can be accomplished, and departments of OB/GYN can fulfill their potential for improving the health of women. The committee concluded that the highest priority is to build physician research manpower so that more departments of OB/GYN can successfully compete for, and effectively use, increased research support. The committee therefore focused its recommendations on ways of recruiting and sustaining OB/GYNs in investigative careers and on developing research capabilities in departments that, with some additional help, have the potential to equal the first-rank research departments of OB/GYN. Recommendations are found earlier in this chapter and in subsequent chapters of this report.
No one entity bears the responsibility for this effort; rather, players to implement the committee's recommendations are to be found at NIH, in the departments of OB/GYN, in other loci in the medical schools, in foundations, and, importantly, in the profession of OB/GYN itself from which must flow the leadership that is a prerequisite to the development of a strong research community in OB/GYN.
1. Pearse, Warren H., and Graham, Kathleen K. Trends in Obstetric-Gynecologic Academic Manpower and Research. Obstetrics and Gynecology July 1991; 78(1):141–143.
2. Letters to the committee from chairmen of departments of obstetrics and gynecology.
3. Center for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Md., Inventory and Analysis of Private Agency Population Research, 1984–1985. June 1988.
4. Longo, Lawrence D. Preparing for the Twenty-first Century in the Reproductive Sciences. Appendix A, this volume.
5. Telephone interview with Thomas H. Meikle, Jr., President, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, New York, New York, May 1991.
6. Haseltine, Florence P., and Campbell, Arthur A. The Impact of Fellowships Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Center for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., March 26, 1986.