Physician-scientists play a crucial role in advancing medical knowledge and patient care, yet the long periods of time required to complete training may impede expansion of this workforce. We examined the relationship between postgraduate training and time to receipt of NIH or Veterans Affairs career development awards (CDAs) for physician-scientists in internal medicine. Data from NIH RePORTER were analyzed for internal medicine residency graduates who received specific CDAs (K08, K23, K99, or IK2) in 2022. Additionally, information on degrees and training duration was collected. Internal medicine residency graduates constituted 19% of K awardees and 28% of IK2 awardees. Of MD-PhD internal medicine–trained graduates who received a K award, 92% received a K08 award; of MD-only graduates who received a K award, a majority received a K23 award. The median time from medical school graduation to CDA was 9.6 years for K awardees and 10.2 years for IK2 awardees. The time from medical school graduation to K or IK2 award was shorter for US MD-PhD graduates than US MD-only graduates. We propose that the time from medical school graduation to receipt of CDAs must be shortened to accelerate training and retention of physician-scientists.


Emily Jane Gallagher, Paul R. Conlin, Barbara I. Kazmierczak, Jatin M. Vyas, Olujimi A. Ajijola, Christopher D. Kontos, Robert A. Baiocchi, Kyu Y. Rhee, Patrick J. Hu, Carlos M. Isales, Christopher S. Williams, Don C. Rockey


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