An academic career in medical research can be wonderfully rewarding if the new biologic and health knowledge one discovers is later translated into the design of better health care strategies or clinical therapy. With so many new investigative methods available, this seems to be an opportune time to enter the research field. However, the seemingly limitless possibilities for discovery might not be realized if an ample new investigator work force is not maintained. Preparing and training young investigators are included in the primary mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH),which is to support and facilitate scientific research. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is very involved in research training, as are the professional pulmonary societies, patient disease-related organizations, and pharmaceutical companies who support this partnership. This perspective will review ways, young students initially may become interested in science and perhaps medicine through the help of mentors, and exposure to early research opportunities that allow them to experience the excitement of science. Then, later career development strategies will be presented that might further the interest of undergraduate and young health professionals to pursue medical research. As creative and spirited mentoring efforts are often very important in career selection, current approaches need to be critiqued for improvement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine