Author(s): Archer SL
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Abstract Physician-scientists are catalysts of translational research. With one foot in the practice of medicine and the other in research and discovery, they are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between laboratory and bedside. In so doing, they enhance patient care, improve medical education, and increase the prosperity of the biomedical enterprise. Although, science has never been more accessible and directly applicable to human health, there is a paradoxical scarcity of physician-scientists. Causes of this shortage include prolonged training and the associated debt-load, the corporatization of medicine, inadequate research funding, and the complexity of a dual career. While striving to reduce these obstacles, we should inspire the next generation by celebrating the physician-scientist career track as one of Medicine's most rewarding. To this end, life lessons from five groups of Nobel laureates in medicine and physiology have been distilled, revealing the essence of the practices and philosophies that allowed these 'ordinary' people to achieve the extraordinary. The common threads in their stories guide young physician-scientists to seek out training and employment where a culture of research is embraced, to find a dedicated mentor who will help identify worthy research questions and guide their career, and to establish research partnerships which offer creative synergy and buffer the frustrations that accompany research. Further inspiration comes from those great researchers whose contributions shaped Medicine but did not lead to the Prize.
This article was published in Eur Heart J
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology