Research is a critical component of the mission of academic radiology, and success in research is necessary for the future of neuroradiology. Thus, the authors set out to establish a baseline of research activities of American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) members.
The authors surveyed 100 fellowship program directors. The survey was Web based, with recruitment from the ASNR Fellowship Database survey site and with e-mail and fax solicitations to the Web site. Questions focused on neuroradiologist and neuroradiology fellow involvement in research.
Forty-eight of the 100 program directors (48%) responded. Several key findings emerged: (a) About one-third of fellowship programs require all fellows to do some research, with most fellows receiving less than 1 day per week of academic time; (b) just over half of the programs expect fellows to publish a paper; (c) about two-thirds of academic neuroradiologists get at least 1 academic day per week; (d) most academic neuroradiologists perform research, but most of this research is unfunded; and (e) about nine of 10 academic sections have at least one neuroradiologist with some extramural funding.
The relative lack of extramural funding among academic neuroradiologists is a reality that is probably multifactorial; however, there may be a direct relationship between amount of academic time free from clinical duties and successful competition for funding. The time (and, thus, financial) support of research-oriented fellows and faculty should be increased.
In recent years, there has been a rapid growth in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed by respirologists.
To assess the number and type of procedures performed in Canadian respirology training programs, for comparison with the American College of Chest Physicians minimum competency guidelines, and to assess fellow satisfaction with procedural training during their fellowships.
Internet-based surveys of Canadian respirology fellows and respirology fellowship program directors were conducted.
Response rates for program director and respirology fellow surveys were 71% (10 of 14) and 62% (41 of 66), respectively. Thirty-eight per cent of respirology fellows reported the presence of an interventional pulmonologist at their institution. Flexible bronchoscopy was the only procedure reported by a large majority of respirology fellows (79.5%) to meet American College of Chest Physicians recommendations (100 procedures). As reported by respirology fellows, recommended numbers of procedures were met by 59.5% of fellows for tube thoracostomy, 21% for transbronchial needle aspiration and 5.4% for closed pleural biopsy. Respirology fellows in programs with an interventional pulmonologist were more likely to have completed some form of additional interventional bronchoscopy training (80% versus 32%; P=0.003), had increased exposure to and expressed improved satisfaction with training in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, but did not increase their likelihood of achieving recommended numbers for any procedures.
Canadian respirology fellows perform lower numbers of basic respiratory procedures, other than flexible bronchoscopy, than that suggested by the American College of Chest Physicians guidelines. Exposure and training in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures is minimal. A concerted effort to improve procedural training is required to improve these results.
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One hundred and seventy-one medical doctors registered as Ph.D.-students at the Faculty of Health Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark, were asked to answer a questionnaire concerning the local Ph.D.-programme. No financial problems were revealed concerning the wages of 69% of the Ph.D.-students, however 31% had financial problems. One third of the Ph.D.-students found it difficult to complete the Ph.D.-programme within the scheduled three years and delays were expected. Most Ph.D.-students intended to continue research after their Ph.D.-study, suggesting that the Ph.D.-programme promotes the scientific education of future generations of medical doctors. However, problems concerning the recruitment of physicians into preclinical/theoretical medicine were revealed and it is suggested that steps should be taken to ease career planning in this field.
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) is committed to fostering the development of future Canadian investigators. Up to 1986, research fellowship support was obtained from the Medical Research Council (MRC) of Canada. Since that time, several peer-reviewed, industry-sponsored, CAG-supported research fellowships and a variety of independently funded awards have augmented this effort. In the same period, peer-reviewed operating grants (OGs) from the MRC and other agencies have been constrained. The aim of this study was to determine the success of CAG, MRC or any other Canadian research fellowships in the development of career investigators in digestive sciences and to identify factors influencing the outcomes of such training.
MRC records and the minutes of CAG annual meetings were reviewed to identify research fellowship support. Canadian program directors were requested to list research fellows affiliated with their groups between 1986 and 1997. Only fellowships providing at least 1 year of training were included. A 7-page questionnaire detailing biographic characteristics, the site and duration, and specific issues related to the quality of research training was sent to identified trainees. Significant associations between success in achieving an academic appointment or OG support and several variables of training were identified.
Eighty-six research fellows were trained. Responses were obtained from 43 of them. The demographic characteristics of the whole group and the respondents were similar. Of the respondents, 81% of trainees obtained academic appointments. Fellowships longer than 1 year were associated with higher rates of academic posting, and MRC-funded fellows had greater success rates of academic appointments. Of eligible trainees 63% have obtained OG support. None of the other variables examined predicted success. Of the trainees responding, 85% valued the fellowship very highly.
The establishment of the additional research fellowships has fostered the development of career investigators in digestive sciences. The high success rate of former trainees in obtaining academic appointments and OG support suggests that the fellowship programs are effective and appropriately oriented. The structure of the current programs does not require substantial revision. OG support for new investigators appears now to lag substantially.
Overseas experience broadens horizons, provides a different perspective on medicine and enhances a doctor's professional credibility. This article covers cardiology subspecialty training opportunities in Canada and offers advice on finding a job, the application process and acclimatization into Canadian life.