Prevalence and predictors of US medical graduates’ federal F32, mentored-K, and R01 awards: a national cohort study

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The size and diversity of the physician-scientist workforce are issues of national concern. In this retrospective, national cohort study of US medical school matriculants who graduated in 1997–2004, we describe the prevalence and predictors of federal F32, mentored-K, and R01 awards among physicians. In multivariable logistic regression models, we identified demographic, educational, and professional development variables independently associated with each award through August 2014, reporting adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (AOR (95% CI)). Among 117,119 graduates with complete data (97.7% of 119,906 graduates in 1997–2004), 509 (0.4%) received F32, 1740 (1.5%) received mentored-K, and 597 (0.5%) received R01 awards. Adjusting for all variables except US Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 scores, black (vs white) graduates were less likely to receive F32 (0.48 (0.28–0.82)), mentored-K (0.56 (0.43–0.72)), and R01 (0.48 (0.28–0.82)) awards; Hispanic graduates were less likely to receive mentored-K awards (0.68 (0.52–0.88)), and women less likely to receive F32 (0.81 (0.67–0.98)) and R01 (0.59 (0.49–0.71)) awards. After adding Step 1 scores, these race/ethnicity effects were not significant, but women (0.62 (0.51–0.75)) were still less likely to receive R01 awards. Graduates reporting both (vs neither) medical school research elective and authorship were more likely to receive F32 (1.89 (1.45–2.48)), mentored-K (2.48 (2.13–2.88)), and R01 (2.00 (1.54–2.60)) awards. Prior F32 (2.17 (1.46–3.21)) and mentored-K (28.08 (22.94–34.38)) awardees more likely received R01 awards. Findings highlight the need for research-experiential interventions along the medical education continuum to promote greater participation and diversity of US medical graduates in the federally funded, biomedical research workforce.

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