Academic Anesthesiology Career Development: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Role of Foundation for Anesthesiology Education and Research Funding

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BACKGROUND:In 1986, the American Society of Anesthesiologists created the Foundation for Anesthesiology Education and Research (FAER) to fund young anesthesiology investigators toward the goal of helping launch their academic careers. Determining the impact of the FAER grant program has been of importance.METHODS:This mixed-methods study included quantitative data collection through a Research Electronic Data Capture survey and curriculum vitae (CV) submission and qualitative interviews. CVs were abstracted for education history, faculty appointment(s), first and last author peer-reviewed publications, grant funding, and leadership positions. Survey nonrespondents were sent up to 3 reminders. Interview questions elicited details about the experience of submitting a FAER grant. Quantitative data were summarized descriptively, and qualitative data were analyzed with NVivo.RESULTS:Of 830 eligible participants, 38.3% (N = 318) completed surveys, 170 submitted CVs, and 21 participated in interviews. Roughly 85% held an academic appointment. Funded applicants were more likely than unfunded applicants to apply for National Institutes of Health funding (60% vs 35%, respectively; P < .01), but the probability of successfully receiving an National Institutes of Health grant did not differ (83% vs 85%, respectively; P = .82). The peer-reviewed publication rate (publications per year since attending medical school) did not differ between funded and unfunded applicants, with an estimated difference in means (95% confidence interval) of 1.3 (–0.3 to 2.9) publications per year. The primary FAER grant mentor for over one-third of interview participants was a nonanesthesiologist. Interview participants commonly discussed the value of having multiple mentors. Key mentor attributes mentioned were availability, guidance, reputation, and history of success.CONCLUSIONS:This cross-sectional data demonstrated career success in publications, grants, and leadership positions for faculty who apply for a FAER grant. A FAER grant application may be a marker for an anesthesiologist who is interested in pursuing a physician-scientist career.

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