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American Pediatric Society Commentary |

The American Pediatric Society Commentary The Future of Pediatric Physician Scientists Is in Our Hands

Susan B. Shurin, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(6):503-505. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.102.
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The future of the world's children hinges on our ability to implement public policy and health practices built on a strong evidence base. Pediatric research, arguably more than any other medical field, relies on advances in basic science to effect immediate, and often profound, long-term improvements in public health. The prospects for improving human health have never been as robust as they are now. Advances in genomics, fundamental biology, and new diagnostic and therapeutic tools have created unprecedented opportunities for pediatric investigators to elucidate disease mechanisms and develop new therapies. Yet, multiple economic, political, and demographic trends are threatening to derail these opportunities in unprecedented ways. The American Pediatric Society, whose members are senior leaders in academic pediatrics, invites the pediatric community to join us in making the advancement of child health research a national and global priority. We must find a way to inspire and enable pediatric investigators to tackle the transformative research opportunities available today.

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Figure. Success rates of applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health by medical school department, 2000 to 2010. The success rate indicates the percentage of reviewed research project grant applications receiving funding computed on a fiscal year basis. It is determined by dividing the number of competing applications funded by the sum of the total number of competing applications reviewed and the number of funded carryovers. Source: NIH RePorter (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm), accessed October 22, 2011.

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