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vol.133 issue1Phenomenological and ethical aspects of aging and dementiaMembers of the Editorial Advisory Committee of Revista Médica de Chile, from 1973 to 2004 author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Revista médica de Chile

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SALAS I, Sofía P.  and  RIGOTTI R, Attilio. Physicians in biomedical research in Chile: A species under risk of extinction?. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.1, pp.121-128. ISSN 0034-9887.

Several studies have reported a progressive reduction in the number of grant applications and research projects approved by medical doctors (MD) in the United States. The overall trend and current situation of MDs actively involved in biomedical research in Chile has not been defined. Thus, we analyzed the professional profile of the principal investigators (PI) that have led research grants approved by the Technology and Medical Sciences study groups of the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT), during the last 20 years. The results show that the projects led by MDs corresponded to 80% in 1984, decreasing to 50% in 2003, with further reduction projected for the next years. We think that the physician doing biomedical research represents a human resource indispensable to preserve a genuine academic environment within medical schools; thus, it is necessary to design and apply strategies to reverse this worrying trend of less MDs actively involved in research in Chile. Among these, we consider important to stimulate research activities at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels of MD training particularly increasing the flexibility of the postgraduate fellowship programs. In addition, it is necessary to support both in terms of money and spare time those physicians who are beginning an academic career involved in biomedical research. Finally, we consider important that non-academic institutions (e.g., pharmaceutical companies, health medical organizations, and philanthropic foundations) should also support academic development and biomedical research in our medical schools (Rev Méd Chile 2005; 133: 121-8)

Keywords : Biomedical research; Clinical investigators; Medical research; Researchers.

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