Historically, physician-scientists have had dual roles in caring for patients and in performing investigative research that could potentially lead to new diagnostics and therapeutics. Physician-scientists conducted teaching rounds in the hospital, surrounded by eager house staff and medical students, and were often avidly pursued as the most important sources of new knowledge for trainees. But alas, times have changed. Now physician-scientists are rarely seen in the hospital; they are most often spotted at their desks tapping out yet another grant application. Most struggle to find the time to mentor students and clinical trainees, let alone to care for patients in the hospital, even though these interactions are often the motivating forces for scientific creativity.
Andrew R. Marks